Sarah specializes in the policy and politics that affect the pharmaceutical industry. She covers the US Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service and Congress and other parts of federal and state government. Her work explores how government policies influence how drugs are developed and approved, what diseases are prioritized by scientists, and who gets access to medicines and at what cost. Sarah has covered health care since 2011. Prior to returning to the Pink Sheet in March 2020, she covered health policy at Politico for five years. She is a regular panelist on the Kaiser Health News 'What the Health' podcast. Sarah was selected for and attended a 2018 International Women’s Media Foundation reporting fellowship in Rwanda. In 2016, she attended Harvard Medical School’s media fellowship on bioethics and, in 2014, was an Association of Health Care Journalists-National Library of Medicine Fellow.
Latest From Sarah Karlin-Smith
The US VA And Alzheimer’s: A Misunderstood Decision
US Department of Veterans Affairs' head for pharmacy benefits management says her agency’s coverage of Leqembi and Aduhelm is actually closely aligned with that provided by Medicare, in contrast to the initial characterization of the VA taking a different stance on the drugs.
Value-Based Pricing Bill with New Protections for Medicare and Medicaid Clears House Panel
Energy and Commerce Committee made some changes to a Trump-era regulation designed to make it easier for manufacturers to enter into value-based drug pricing contracts with commercial payers to limit unintended consequences for Medicaid and Medicare, but most Democrats say the tweaks don’t outweigh the harms of codifying the regulation.
Pfizer’s RSV Vaccine: US FDA Panel Wants Robust Safety Program With Public Accountability
Advisory committee offers strong support for approval of Pfizer’s RSV vaccine to protect infants while simultaneously offering the agency a handful of suggestions that were directed towards the review and post-market surveillance of all vaccinations.
Pfizer’s Maternal RSV Vaccine Quest May Hinge On FDA Advisors’ Views of Preterm Birth Data
A numerical – but not statistically significant – imbalance in preterm births was seen in two Pfizer studies of its RSV vaccine when given to pregnant people with the aim of protecting newborns.
Worries About Innovation Incentives Keep Some Generic, Patent Bills Out of HELP Legislation
In a win for the branded industry, just one of the three amendments that caused the initial markup of the Senate Health Committee’s drug pricing legislation to be postponed got included in the package advanced to the floor.
Senate Committee Passes Moderate PBM Reform, But Has Its Eyes On Stronger Policies
Delinking pharmacy benefits managers’ compensation from the prices of drugs received bipartisan rhetorical support at a HELP markup, but the panel only cleared less drastic PBM reforms along with generic and orphan-drug focused policies. Approved amendments tackled step therapy, pharma transparency and PBM gag clauses, among other topics.