Patients Rising Podcast covers a wide range of healthcare topics and invites experts and stakeholders to share their opinions, thoughts, and experiences with our audience. Here are some of our most popular episodes from 2022:

Middlemen and Healthcare Costs: Middlemen in the healthcare supply chain add significant costs to our healthcare system. Patients Rising spoke with David Balat, Executive Director at Free2Care, about repealing the safe harbor regulations that provide kickback protections for middlemen. He explained how repealing the kickback statute would impact hospital transparency and overall care costs. 

The episode also presents an interview with patient advocate Erin Galyean who became a fierce advocate for her now-deceased sister who was diagnosed with cancer, which led to an auto-immune disease and lung disease. Erin consolidated these experiences with her sister’s healthcare team into a book and a journal to help other families dealing with a loved one’s health issues.

Faster Reviews for Rare Disease Drugs: This episode, produced in February 2022, discussed the importance of the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) reauthorization. Episode guest Peter Pitts, co-founder and President of The Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, explained how the PDUFA is a processing fee paid by drug sponsors to get their drug application reviewed. 

You will also hear from patient advocate Yolanda Bermudez, who shared her experiences as a rare disease cancer patient that inspired her to be an advocate. And in honor of Rare Disease Month in February, several rare disease advocates shared their personal stories and inspirations.

Medicare Coverage of Alzheimer’s Drug and COVID-19 At-Home Tests, PsA Management: Provisions within the Biden administration’s Build Back Better plan, which includes a cap on monthly insulin out-of-pocket costs for patients, were discussed on this episode, along with the controversy over Medicare’s decision to not cover a class of Alzheimer’s drugs outside of a clinical trial. The other controversy discussed on the episode was Medicare’s inability to cover at-home COVID-19 tests for seniors—a population that is highly vulnerable to the virus.

In this episode, you’ll also hear from Diane Talbert, a patient advocate for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis (PsA), who spoke about the Bezzy PsA app that can support patients in managing PsA symptoms and the disease overall. 

Fallacies of the 340B Program: Congress launched the 340B program in the early 1990s to support safety-net hospitals in their mission to provide care for low-income, uninsured community members. Thirty years on, the program remains riddled with lack of transparency and gaps in oversight. In this episode, a conversation with Dr. Bill Smith, visiting Fellow at the Pioneer Institute, touched on why the program faltered and how it impacts low-income patients. 

We also hear from Alyse who suffers from calcium deficiency and her struggles with being able to afford OTC vitamins and supplements.

Eliminating the Middlemen in the Pharmacy Supply Chain: Guest Kyle McCormick, founder of Pittsburgh-based Blueberry Pharmacy, shared his operational secret that allows customers to access their medications at low prices—removing the middlemen in the drug supply chain. The bottom line of his cost-plus model is that patients should pay the exact cost of the drug—which may be very cheap if the drug is a generic—and not be responsible for the administrative costs that can cause a significant hike in prices. 

We also hear from cancer legal expert Monica Bryant about Social Security and Disability Insurance and how patients can access this program.