Health care

China offers drug companies market access in exchange for lower prices

Doctors visiting a patient in a Chinese hospital
Doctors visit a patient in the First People's Hospital of Yancheng in Yancheng. Photo: Xinhua/via Getty Images

China wants to have better health care at a lower cost than the U.S. or other countries — a plan that involves extracting massive discounts from pharmaceutical companies, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The trade-off for drug companies is access to China's enormous population and, thus, a giant market, and Chinese patients are now paying much less than Americans for the same drugs.

The opioid epidemic's kids crisis in West Virginia

A baby boy is monitored for opioid withdrawal inside a Charleston, W.Va.
A baby boy is monitored for opioid withdrawal inside a Charleston, W.Va. hospital. Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The opioid epidemic has left thousands of West Virginian children neglected, abused or in foster care, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: "West Virginia's journey provides a case study in how legal battles against drug companies can fail to balance the scales, leaving behind more conflict than resolution in communities still reeling from the crisis," the Post writes.