FHC #59: Diving deep into SCOTUS rulings & drug-industry rules

the front of the U.S. supreme court building lit up at night

This Fixing Healthcare podcast series, “Diving Deep,” probes into some of healthcare’s most complex topics and deep-seated problems.

On today’s episode, hosts Dr. Robert Pearl and Jeremy Corr dive deep into a pair of controversial Supreme Court rulings with serious medical implications. Then they dive into the rules drug companies play by to keep prices and profits sky high.

For more information on these topics, check out Dr. Pearl’s latest healthcare columns on Forbes and LinkedIn. For listeners interested in show notes, here’s a time-stamped discussion guide:


[00:57] What events inspired Dr. Pearl’s latest Forbes essay “The U.S. Supreme Court Is Unscientific, Medically Negligent?”

[02:09] What are critics saying about the Dobbs and NY gun cases?

[02:47] Did the court really break longstanding precedent in overturning Roe?

[05:40] What are defenders of the Court saying about these decisions?

[06:41] How does Brown v. Board (1954) relate to Pearl’s view that today’s Court is unscientific?

[08:48] Did the recent Dobbs ruling on abortion dismiss important facts?

[09:55] What is “originalism” and how does it affect the current Court’s decisions?

[12:23] In the article, Pearl evokes the Spanish Inquisition. Why?

[14:09] Which scientific facts should the judges have considered in the NY gun case?

[16:26] What’s the relationship between mental health issues and gun violence?

[18:57] What medical consequences will women experience as a result of the recent abortion case?


[20:20] How do drug companies go about pricing new medications?

[21:14] Why are biopharma companies so profitable?

[21:47] How does the drug industry outpace all other industries in revenue?

[22:33] Do pharma companies need to improve drugs in order to raise prices?

[24:51] How does Big Pharma influence drug policy?

[25:33] How do current U.S. policies boost drug-industry profits?

[27:15] Why don’t lower-priced competitors try to disrupt the drug industry?

[29:43] What can patients do about high drug prices?

[30:23] What three things could Congress do to curb high prices?

[31:51] Doesn’t the drug industry deserve some kudos for the good they do?

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Dr. Robert Pearl is the author of a book about medicine’s invisible yet highly influential physician culture. Check out “Uncaring: How Physician Culture Is Killing Doctors & Patients.” All profits from the book go to Doctors Without Borders.

Fixing Healthcare is a co-production of Dr. Robert Pearl and Jeremy Corr. Subscribe to the show via Apple, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you find podcasts. Join the conversation or suggest a guest by following the show on Twitter and LinkedIn.