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Beyond investment in research: What Covid-19 policymakers can learn from the HIV/AIDS epidemic

[Covid-19’s challenges] pose important questions to policymakers: How will the FDA decide that the potential benefits of controversial novel drugs and vaccines outweigh their risks? And how will Medicare—tasked by the CARES Act with reimbursing COVID-related hospital fees—make expensive therapies available to uninsured essential workers who are the most vulnerable to the virus and least able to pay? Thankfully, these uncertainties are not uncharted territory:Decades of experience with HIV/AIDS have shaped regulatory institutions and provided new strategies for seeking legal remedy to reduce the price of expensive drugs.

December 2020 · Clay Davis