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What We’re Reading: AI-Assisted Clinical Trials; COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Issues; Banning Medical Debt From Credit Scores


Drugmakers turn to artificial intelligence (AI); new reports of vaccine appointment cancellations or insurance issues; Biden plans to clear Americans’ credit scores of medical debt.

Big Pharma Harnesses AI to Streamline Clinical Trials, Slash Costs

Major pharmaceutical companies, including Amgen, Bayer, and Novartis, are increasingly deploying artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionize clinical trials, according to Reuters. AI tools, like Amgen's ATOMIC, are streamlining patient recruitment by identifying high-performing clinics and doctors, significantly reducing enrollment times. Moreover, AI is aiding in the design of trials, potentially eliminating the need for placebo groups through the creation of external control arms based on real-world patient data. This AI-driven approach not only expedites drug development but also offers substantial cost savings.

High Demand, Insurance Issues, Supply Delays Impact Rollout of New COVID-19 Vaccines

The rollout of the newest COVID-19 vaccines, authorized for individuals 6 months and older, is facing challenges, according to the Associated Press. Some individuals have had to cancel appointments due to insurance companies not yet updating billing codes for the vaccines, while others have seen appointments canceled because of supply issues. Slow shipments and order backlogs have contributed to limited vaccine availability in certain areas. Although Moderna and Pfizer say they have adequate supply, logistical hiccups are affecting the distribution process, causing frustration for those eagerly seeking vaccinations.

Biden Administration Takes Steps to Protect Americans‘ Credit Scores From Medical Debt

The Biden administration has revealed its intentions to develop federal rules that would prevent unpaid medical bills from affecting patients' credit scores, according to Kaiser Health News. This action comes in response to the significant problem of medical debt affecting about 100 million Americans, leading many to take on additional work, lose their homes, and even ration essentials. These new regulations, although expected to face opposition from the medical industry, have garnered robust support from patient and consumer groups who have long advocated for stronger protections against medical debt. While the process to enact these rules may be lengthy, they offer potential relief to those facing the devastating consequences of medical debt on their credit reports and financial lives.

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