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Tinfoil Hats and the AEI

Government-performed comparative drug studies are bad because the results not only affect Medicare but the private market as well, writes American Enterprise Institute fellow Scott Gottlieb in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. A provision for a new federal center to study the economics of drug choices (part of the State Children's Health Insurance Program) will give misleading results and the data will not be transparent, argues Gottlieb, drawing on past studies such as the Women's Health Initiative, Allhat, and Catie as proof.

Blogger Mark Hoofnagle responds that these studies were only federally funded -- as is much of US research -- and sometimes released initial results because of risks associated with the drugs, not to save the government money. "Does this guy even understand that the researchers that perform these studies don't sit around thinking, 'I work for the government … and the government is all about saving government money for the government,'" writes Hoofnagle.

The Scan

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.

Effectiveness May Decline, Data From Israel Suggests

The New York Times reports that new Israeli data suggests a decline in Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness against Delta variant infection, though protection against severe disease remains high.

To See Future Risk

Slate looks into the use of polygenic risk scores in embryo screening.

PLOS Papers on Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus, Bone Marrow Smear Sequencing, More

In PLOS this week: genomic analysis of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, archived bone marrow sequencing, and more.