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Today's newsletter is 820 words, or 3 minutes.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
The U.S. has a gun violence problem and a mental health problem. But conflating the two won't solve either.
The big picture: The average person suffering from a mental illness is no more prone to violence than anyone without a mental illness, and mental-health advocates say exaggerating a link between mass shootings and mental illness can be stigmatizing and harmful.
Between the lines: "A very small proportion of people with a mental illness are at increased risk of violent behavior if they are not treated," 2 former CEOs of Mental Health America wrote in Health Affairs in 2013.
Yes, but: Nearly two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides, and “mental illness is a very strong causal factor in suicide," Duke University's Jeffrey Swanson said.
Even if Congress did decide to further limit people with mental illness' access to guns, they'll quickly run up against the mental health system's broader shortcomings.
Drug companies are increasingly trying to maximize their profits by creating generics to compete with their own brand-name products, Kaiser Health News reports.
Why it matters: "Authorized generics" can be just as profitable, if not more profitable, than the branded drug. They also can stifle competition from other generics, leading to higher prices for patients.
By the numbers: There are almost 1,200 authorized generics in the U.S., according to the FDA. Last year, there was about one new authorized generic a week.
What they're saying: A spokesperson for PhRMA told KHN that authorized generics increase competition, which "reduces prices and results in significant cost savings."
The other side: They can “stave off generic competition and make sure that generics can’t get much of a foothold when they do get to market,” Robin Feldman, a professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, told KHN.
China’s dominance in drug manufacturing is a national security issue, Bloomberg’s Anna Edney reports.
Details: American officials have expressed two concerns:
“The national security risks of increased Chinese dominance of the global [active pharmaceutical ingredient] market cannot be overstated,” the Defense Health Agency’s Christopher Priest told an advisory panel last week, per Bloomberg.
The federal government approved a 3% all-in pay bump for Medicare’s inpatient services in 2020, equating to $3.8 billion in additional funding to hospitals, Axios' Bob Herman reports.
The bottom line: Even though the final raise is down from the proposed regulation (which would’ve raised Medicare inpatient spending by $4.7 billion), this is one of the most generous rules hospitals have seen in years, as mandated cuts from the Affordable Care Act are phasing out.
Yes, but: Some hospitals will benefit more than others, especially when it comes to specific payment policies.
Photo: Getty Images
States don't like the settlement plan pitched by the plaintiffs in the massive federal opioids case pending in Ohio, which could slow down any momentum toward a settlement, the NYT reports.