CTNJ: Insulin – Once a Gift, Now Serving Greed

Today is the hundredth anniversary of the discovery of insulin. Diabetes affects about 367,000 adults in Connecticut and that number is rising. Before the 1920s, a diabetes diagnosis was a death sentence. The discovery of insulin allowed people with diabetes to live their lives. Until the 1970s insulin was affordable, but it’s now so costly…

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Good and bad Medicaid PCMH, PCMH Plus updates

At today’s MAPOC Care Management Committee, we learned that Medicaid’s successful Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) program is growing and keeping up with higher enrollment due to COVID. In disappointing news, we also learned that the controversial PCMH Plus program has fewer care managers than expected and only 36% of ACO member advisory committees have any…

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CT remains behind surrounding states in public health support

According to a new analysis by SHADAC, Connecticut remains behind our neighboring states in per person spending on public health. The pandemic has spotlighted the critical roles of public health including emergency preparedness, disease prevention, population health monitoring, and health promotion. Public health has been responsible for most of the increases in life expectancy in…

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OHS committee considering dumbing down successful PCMH standards

Among other troubling plans, the Office of Health Strategy’s Primary Care Subgroup is considering four options to certify high-performing primary care practices for higher levels of reimbursement. The committee is deciding how to double spending on primary care while simultaneously capping healthcare cost growth. At their meeting this week, the committee of mainly primary care…

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OP-ED | Controversial New Alzheimer’s Drug Could Break the Bank

Alzheimer’s disease affects six million Americans, stealing memories years before it takes lives. Aduhelm, the first drug intended to treat the Alzheimer’s disease process rather than symptoms, was highly anticipated by patients and families. But it has disappointed on many levels. It isn’t clear that it actually helps patients and troubling side effects are common.…

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BOOK CLUB — The Right Price: A Value-Based Prescription for Drug Costs

For your summer reading. The Right Price: A Value-Based Prescription for Drug Costs offers the best explanation I’ve found of how drug costs are set, and how they should be. Using real-life patient stories, the authors give a balanced and comprehensive look at fair and reasonable pricing for a product that epitomizes market failure. The…

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JAMA highlights CT bill to limit extreme drug price increases

A recent JAMA article highlights bills to reduce drug price increases across states, including Connecticut’s bill. The bills call for clawing back 80% of drug price increases over inflation plus 2% — a healthy profit that many industries would happily welcome. Other states also considering bills include Massachusetts, Maine, Washington, and Hawaii; more are expected…

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CTNJ: OP-ED | Drug Affordability Requires Limits On Price Gouging

Jay Gironimi has cystic fibrosis and he is grateful for the drugs that help him live. But he disagrees with the Epilepsy Foundation’s opinion piece that defends extreme drug price hikes. “While the drugs are saving lives today, the profit margins are slowly tanking the entire US healthcare system.” Read more

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Response: Lobbyist uses seniors and people with disabilities to protect drug company profits

Reading William Smith’s CT Mirror opinion, I was worried that my state had passed draconian laws that were harming the health of seniors and people with disabilities. Thankfully, that isn’t the case. Our anti-discrimination laws are still in place and functioning. . . . True discrimination against seniors and people with disabilities happens every day…

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CTNJ Opinion: Remember Public Health’s Value After COVID Is Gone

The COVID-19 pandemic has focused a bright light on the weakness of the U.S. public health system. Countries with strong public health systems fared much better in controlling the virus’ spread. America used to have a strong public health system. From 1900 to 2000, life expectancy rose by 30 years. Contrary to public opinion, it…

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