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Prescription Drugs

  • Trump: New Health Secretary Will 'Get Those Prescription Prices Way Down'  Stat by Ike Swetlitz —  President Trump used the swearing-in of the new secretary of health and human services as an opportunity to decry high prescription drug prices and pledge to bring them down — an intention he has long trumpeted but on which he has yet to follow through. "He's going to get those prescription drug prices way down," Trump said as he introduced Alex Azar at the White House Monday. Trump also pointed to the disparity in the cost of prescription drugs in America compared to other countries, saying that "the exact same pill in an identical box from the same factory costs us much more than, many times more than it does in other countries."

  • Among Those Who Want to Lower Drug Prices, Cacophony, Not Consensus  Stat by Erin Mershon— Of all his campaign promises, President Trump's vow to bring down drug prices was perhaps the most popular. An assortment of interest groups spoke out loudly and passionately on the need for action, from hospitals to doctors to insurers to generic drug makers to patients themselves.'….[But] in interviews with STAT, lobbyists, lawmakers, and congressional staffers, Republicans and Democrats alike, said the most powerful health industry players conspicuously disagree about exactly how to move forward. The disarray was on full display at a recent congressional hearing, when representatives from nearly every major trade group with any stake in the country's drug prices — the American Medical Association, Association of Health Insurance Plans, and the American Hospital Association included — spent almost an hour and a half testifying without more than a cursory discussion of how Congress could fix the problem."

  • As States Target High Drug Prices, Pharma Targets State Lawmakers  Kaiser Health News by Jay Hancock and Shefali Luthra —  With federal officials seemingly unwilling or unable to come up with legislation to control skyrocketing drug prices, that task is increasingly moving to the states. But so is pharma muscle and money opposing the measures, regulatory disclosures and corporate filings from the last two years show. State lawmakers are likely to consider drug-price transparency bills this year in Connecticut, Michigan, Oregon, Washington, and New Jersey, to name just a few. Many of the measures are similar to a new California law that requires drugmakers to justify big price increases. Meanwhile, activists who backed a 2017 law enabling Maryland officials to challenge "unconscionable" price increases for generic drugs now advocate price regulation for all expensive pharmaceuticals. Policymakers in New Mexico, Massachusetts, and Arizona are talking about limiting drug coverage or negotiating drug prices under Medicaid.

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