What We're Reading: Valeant Could Reduce Prices of Expensive Heart Drugs

What we're reading, April 28, 2016: Valeant officials express remorse over price hikes of heart drugs; Paul Ryan proposes placing consumers with serious medical conditions in high-risk pools; and a British medical organization is urging smokers to switch to e-cigarettes.

Faced with unhappy lawmakers, Valeant Pharmaceuticals could reduce the prices of 2 heart drugs that the company previously marked up. According to STAT, the drug maker’s board could meet to discuss reducing the prices of Isuprel and Nitrpres by 30%. Unlike when former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli appeared unrepentant on Capitol Hill, Valeant board member Bill Ackerman, outgoing CEO Michael Pearson, and former executive Howard Schiller express contrition for the raising prices to aggressively.

Paul Ryan has called for consumers with serious medical conditions to be placed in high-risk pools. The US House of Representatives Speaker said protections for very sick individuals under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has raised costs for healthy consumers and he suggested that putting individuals with health issues into high-risk pools would open up competition and increase choice for everyone, according to Reuters. This proposal may be part of a Republican alternative to the ACA.

While American public health officials remain concerned about the use of e-cigarettes, a major British medical organization is urging smokers to make the switch to e-cigarettes. The Royal College of Physicians summarized a growing body of evidence that found the benefits e-cigarettes far outweigh the potential harms, reported The New York Times. The report found that e-cigarette devices are helping people more than harming them.