Health Care — Tensions rise over drug pricing

Sanders aide calls Manchin ‘phony’ on drug prices 

Tensions are heating up over action (or lack thereof) on drug pricing.  

A top aide to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Tuesday called Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) a “phony” after the West Virginia senator called for action to lower drug prices.   

Warren Gunnels, Sanders’s staff director for the Senate Budget Committee, tweeted that Manchin’s call for drug pricing action was empty given the senator opposed President Biden’s Build Back Better package, which included measures to lower drug prices.   

“What a phony. THE reason we failed to keep our promises to seniors is because @Sen_JoeManchin sabotaged the Build Back Better Act & refuses to end the filibuster,” Gunnels tweeted. “In Joe’s world, protecting the filibuster is more important than protecting seniors. No wonder billionaires love him.” 

Gunnels was responding to a tweet from Manchin after the senator met with AARP’s West Virginia branch that read: “By allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, capping the cost of insulin at $35 per month, and allowing the importation of drugs from Canada, we can lower prescription drug prices in America. We must take action & keep the promises we’ve made to our seniors.”  

Signs of hope on a package: Manchin, speaking at the AARP event on Tuesday, gave some hope to Democrats eager for a deal.   

“Drug pricing is something we all agree on,” Manchin said. “If we do nothing else this year — I think we can do a lot more — but if we do nothing more this year, that’s the one thing that must be done.” 

Read more here.  

Vaccine misinformation affects pregnant women 

Seven in 10 women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant believe or are unsure about false claims related to COVID-19 vaccines, a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) poll found

Twenty-nine percent of respondents in the demographic believed at least one of three false statements.  

Among women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, 60 percent said they believe that pregnant women should not get the vaccine or are unsure if this is true; 58 percent said they believe vaccines cause infertility or are unsure; and 52 percent said they believe it is unsafe for breastfeeding women to get vaccinated or are unsure about the claim. 

Beyond those who heard the misinformation and believed it to be true, larger shares of pregnant women or those planning to become pregnant were unsure about the statements. 

For women younger than 50, the poll found a higher tendency to believe or be unsure of the misinformation among those who were unvaccinated and those who did not have a college degree.   

The impact: CDC estimates show roughly 3 in 10 pregnant women remain unvaccinated against COVID-19, a figure that lags adults overall. 

Read more here.


The U.K. Health Security Agency on Monday issued guidance recommending that people who test positive for monkeypox abstain from sexual activity while they are symptomatic. 

“People with…

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