What We're Reading: FDA Approvals; Capping Malpractice Awards; Illegal Immigrants Avoid Care

June 27, 2017

FDA Approvals Surpass 2016

FDA Approvals Surpass 2016

With the 23rd drug approved by the FDA, more drugs have been approved just halfway through 2017 than were approved in all of 2016. According to FiercePharma, the new crop of approved drugs haven’t been without controversy. There was at least one pricing controversy as a decades-old steroid available for $1000 abroad was approved in the United States to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy and received an $89,000 price tag. Plus, a drug approved to treat an ultrarare disease is now one of the most expensive drugs in the world, priced at $702,000.

House Bill Would Cap Malpractice Awards

A bill in the House of Representatives would cap the amount awarded in a malpractice suit for non-economic damages at $250,000. Kaiser Health News reported that the bill is part of a package of reforms to supplement the House’s healthcare bill, the American Health Care Act, which would repeal and replace large parts of the Affordable Care Act. The Trump administration has pledged support, but there is heavy opposition from patient advocates and some conservatives who believe states should determine tort law rules.

Illegal Immigrants Avoid Getting Care

A new article from The New York Times highlights the challenges of delivering care to undocumented immigrants who are afraid to seek care. Since the Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigrants, clinics have reported a decrease in the number of appointments with this population. Some providers have gone the extra mile to take care for these patients into their own hands, picking up prescriptions some people are too scared to get on their own and delivering them to patients’ houses.