In its second season, Patients Rising’s podcast has witnessed tremendous growth as we continue our coverage of topics that affect affordability and access to treatments and services, and dive into policy matters that regulate access and affordability.

Here are a few conversations from 2021 that resonated the most with our listeners:

Inside the FDA with Dr. Woodcock: This episode of the podcast focused on the drug approval process, including a conversation on Operation Warp Speed and COVID-19 long haulers, and how best practices from that program can inform the development of treatments in the rare and chronic disease space. We also spoke with Dr. Janet Woodcock, Acting Commissioner of the FDA, who addressed the democratization of clinical trials as a result of the pandemic.

Is Your Medical Equipment Safe? The safety and upkeep of medical devices and equipment is vital to disease diagnosis and patient treatment plans. In this episode of the podcast, host Terry Wilcox draws attention to holding third-party groups, who repair the equipment, to FDA standards to avoid misdiagnosis or poor health outcomes. James Nestel of Simon Hegele Healthcare Solutions spoke with Terry about the Right to Repair Act and much more.

Hope for Alzheimer’s Patients and Caregivers: When an Alzheimer’s drug received accelerated approval in summer 2021, the news waves were incessant. On our podcast, we discussed the accelerated approval process, the drug’s price tag, and its impact on caregivers. We also brought in Sue Peschin, President and CEO of the Alliance for Aging Research, to highlight what this approval means for patients and their families. 

Unfortunately, the drug manufacturer and the FDA were at the receiving end with questions raised about both efficacy and cost. Confirmatory studies have been planned for early next year.

Chronic Disease + the Next Pandemic with Scott Gottlieb: In this fall episode, we focused our attention on the COVID-19 pandemic and spoke with former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb He highlighted where the government and the Centers for Disease Control failed in their response to the pandemic and shone a light on regulatory reforms and infrastructure changes that can ensure we are better prepared for the next pandemic that may be waiting in the wings. 

Lawmakers and Chronic Disease Patients: Government price controls on prescription drugs was the topic of conversation in this episode, specifically HR3. The discussion highlighted how the implementation of the HR3 provision within the spending bill would threaten innovation and restrict formularies, indirectly affecting patient access to medication.  

As we ring in the new year, we will strive to provide valuable information to our listeners and continue to advocate for policies and legislation that will improve access to affordable healthcare.