Between encouraging vaccine uptake and pushing with renewed vigor for drug-pricing reform, healthcare policy wonks in Washington did not lack for ambitious projects during 2021. Here are some of the most popular and best received policy columns MM+M published.

1. “We’ve been waiting for something like this

Health and policy experts heralded the Surgeon General’s acknowledgement of a “mental health crisis” among young people.

2. Why vaccine mandates are working

Late in the year, we took a deep dive on the state of the mandates — and what they could mean for public health policy moving forward.

3. Global supply issues hamstring the global COVID-19 response

Even as the U.S. prepared to administer booster shots in the fall, global supply remained scarce – and stayed that way throughout 2021.

4. Can the CDC fix its COVID communications?

The answer, ultimately, was no. Earlier in the year, however, one veteran healthcare communicator outlined the challenges that lay ahead for the agency as it attempted to persuade the vaccine-hesitant.

5. Might an FDA inspection backlog lead to a drug approval slowdown?

As it turns out, the pandemic made an existing problem far worse.