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‘This Would Be Nuclear Winter’: What We Heard This Week

“We don’t want to overstate the case… but for the [drug development] ecosystem as a whole, this would be nuclear winter in places that depend on early-stage financing for biotech innovation.” — Stephen Ubl, of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, speaking about drug-pricing legislation sponsored by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

“Did we provide a lot of people with health insurance and say, ‘You figure it out’?” — Elizabeth Brown, PhD, of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, on surprising findings on lupus patients in states that expanded Medicaid access.

“Fifty percent is not 90%, but it is a very promising start, and responses in some cases were reasonably durable.” — Nancy U. Lin, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, on recent developments to improve outcomes in patients with breast cancer and brain metastases.

“These initiatives may not be helping patients, and some may even be harming them.” — Seppo T. Rinne, MD, PhD, of the Veterans Affairs Center for Healthcare Organization & Implementation Research in Boston, commenting on healthcare systems’ initiatives in the absence of guidance on how to improve quality of care for COPD.

“With the measles outbreaks this year, that have been really stupendously large and scary, not just in the U.S., but in many countries, we’ve really had to focus our attention on vaccine hesitancy.” — Andrew Pavia, MD, of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, on how “vaccine hesitancy” is posing challenges to immunization rates.

“I’ve seen first-hand experiences in which cultural biases led to sub-par care.” — Alissa Erogbogbo, MD, discussing how healthcare providers’ biases can affect quality of care.

“Our own findings and others have found that women decline more rapidly than men after the amnestic mild cognitive impairment diagnosis.” — Erin Sundermann, PhD, of the University of California, San Diego, on how early signs of Alzheimer’s disease are often missed in women.

“HHS has been acting as though it’s illegal for patients to spend their own after-tax income to buy care privately without going through the Medicare system and being supervised by the Medicare bureaucracy.” — Jane Orient, MD, of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, reacting to an Executive Order about revamping Medicare policies to offer beneficiaries more options for healthcare coverage.