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Drug Prices & Health and Human Services

  • National Science Panel Calls for Aggressive Steps to Control Drug Prices The Los Angeles Times by Noam Levey — The U.S. must take urgent steps to rein in the out-of-control cost of prescription drugs, including aggressive government intervention to negotiate lower prices for American patients, a panel of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommended Thursday in a sweeping new report on pharmaceutical pricing. The report — titled "Making Medicines Affordable: A National Imperative" — includes a strongly worded indictment of the nation's prescription drug market, which it warns is failing millions of sick patients. And the 201-page report takes aim at several of the pharmaceutical industry's cherished practices, including direct-to-consumer marketing and efforts by drugmakers to block and delay the introduction of lower-priced generic medicines. "Simply stated, the current system is not sustainable," concluded the panel's chairman, Norman Augustine, former chief executive of Lockheed Martin Corp., one of the world's largest defense companies.

  • Health Nominee Grilled on Commitment to Lower Drug Prices New York Times by Robert Pear — Alex M. Azar II, President Trump's nominee for secretary of health and human services, said Wednesday that he would try to reduce the burden of high drug costs, but he largely absolved drug companies from blame, placing the responsibility on a system that encourages price increases on medicines. Mr. Azar sailed through the first of two hearings on his nomination without making major missteps. But he did not appear to dispel the doubts of Democrats who distrust him because of his experience as a top executive at a major drug maker, Eli Lilly and Company, for 10 years.

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