Dispensed: Pharma CEOs on Capitol Hill, the exploding CBD market, and treating kids with new models of primary care

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider


Well, it’s certainly been a week. Between drug price hearings and disgruntled Bristol-Myers Squibb investors, I’m sure a lot of folks in the industry are looking forward to the week winding down.

But before it does, I wanted to share some of the stories that preoccupied the healthcare team here at Business Insider this week.

Are you new to our weekly newsletter? You can sign up here.

Pharma drug prices congress 4x3Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

We spent the first half of the week readying for the Senate hearing with seven top pharmaceutical executives, in total cranking out six stories on it. Emma Court has the play-by-play of the whole ordeal.

America’s top pharma CEOs just got grilled by Congress over the cost of their drugs

  • Seven leaders of major pharmaceutical companies testified about high US drug prices as part of a congressional hearing on Tuesday.
  • Lawmakers pushed the pharma executives on what they and their organisations could do to make change for patients.
  • “We’ve all seen the finger-pointing,” said Chuck Grassley, the Republican senator from Iowa who led the hearing. “But like most Americans, I’m sick and tired of the blame game. It’s time for solutions.”
  • The pharma executives sought to justify prices by emphasising the value of their medicines to patients. They also shifted blame to other parts of the US healthcare system like intermediaries.

And here’s a rundown of our other dispatches coming out of the hearing, in case you’re still digesting all that we learned this week (I know I am).

While that was unfolding, Erin Brodwin had a slew of great stories about the exploding CBD market, and some developments in the lab for marijuana compounds.

I had the scoop on Parsley Health’s expansion into pediatrics. It was interesting to understand how the no-insurance, monthly fee approach to primary care could work to help kids manage chronic conditions like asthma or food allergies. And Parsley isn’t the only primary care startup getting into pediatrics – One Medical has been testing it out too, with plans to expand pediatric practices into more of its offices.

A doctor’s office that charges a monthly fee and doesn’t take insurance wants to stop the ‘revolving door’ of appointments for sick kids

  • Parsley Health is a medical practice that charges a monthly fee and doesn’t take insurance.
  • The $US150-a-month membership provides access to doctors and health coaches, with the goal of treating conditions in a more comprehensive way than traditional primary care.
  • Now the practice is expanding into pediatrics in its New York office, aiming to provide better care for children and teens with chronic conditions.
  • The cost for kids is $US129 a month.

Oh! And while I have you – are you a BI Prime subscriber? (I hope the answer is yes!) We’d love to get your feedback on the kinds of stories we’re working on via this quick survey.

As always, questions? Tips? Stories we should be chasing? Words of encouragement that spring will soon be here? Find me at [email protected] or the whole team at [email protected]

– Lydia

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.