Different Takes: FDA Should Approve Moderna’s Under 5 Vaccine Quickly; How Will Endemic Covid Be Different?
Opinion writers weigh in on covid, prescription issues and overdose prevention.
The Washington Post:
Moderna’s Covid Vaccine Is A Big Relief For Parents Of Young Children
Finally, some good news for parents of young children. Moderna announced on Thursday that it has requested authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its coronavirus vaccine for 6-month to 5-year-olds. It cites new data that its vaccine is safe and effective for the age group. (Leana S. Wen, 4/28)
The Baltimore Sun:
The Pandemic Exposed Our Empathy Deficit
Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, told “PBS NewsHour” that “certainly” America is now “out of the pandemic phase” of COVID-19 as our rates of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths continue to ebb. But, he added, “We’re not going to eradicate this virus.” Our best hope is to “keep that level very low, and intermittently vaccinate people,” possibly as often as every year. Put another way, the endemic has arrived. As Dr. Fauci later told The Washington Post, “We’re really in a transitional phase, from a deceleration of the numbers into hopefully a more controlled phase and endemicity.” (Charles M. Blow, 4/28)
Why Don’t Alcoholics Get Prescribed The Medication They Need?
Alcohol-related deaths spiked 25 percent during the first year of the pandemic, according to National Institutes of Health research published in March. And alcohol-related emergency department visits accounted for about a 13 percent larger share of all emergency room visits compared to the years before the pandemic began, according to another study due to be published in June by researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Jonathan Hunt-Glassman, 4/28)
Enforceable Reform On Pharmacy Benefit Managers Cannot Wait
PBMs are largely unregulated third-party administrators contracted by health plans, employers and government entities to manage prescription drug programs on behalf of health plan beneficiaries. They have tremendous control over which medications patients can receive, where patients can get them and how much patients pay for them. (Anthony Pudlo, 4/28)
Tennessee Lawmakers Should Introduce Legislation To Cut Prescription Drug Costs
In the last decade, the cost of prescription drugs increased by 159% when adjusted for inflation. The AARP has also pointed out that the rising cost of prescription drugs continues to outpace inflation, directly raising costs for businesses and impacting the lives of consumers. There are many entities along the line that influence the price of prescription drugs from where it starts at with the pharmaceutical manufacturers and ends when you pick up your monthly prescription at your local drug store. (Phillip Johnson, 4/28)
Kansas City Star:
MO, KS Ban Test Strips That Prevent Fentanyl Drug Overdoses
As the Kansas and Missouri legislative sessions come to a close, there’s at least one more matter lawmakers in both states should attend to. They could save lives with tiny strips of paper that can detect the presence of fentanyl in recreational drugs. Fentanyl test strips are designed to prevent people from overdosing on illegal recreational drugs that have been spiked with potentially fatal amounts of the synthetic opioid fentanyl. Overdose deaths have risen to well over 100,000 a year in the United States. Synthetic opioids — primarily fentanyl — are the primary reason for the overall increase in total drug overdose deaths, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. (4/29)