Nov 13, 2019

Azar: Trump says America should get "the best deal" on drug prices

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar. Photo: Chuck Kennedy

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at an Axios event on Wednesday that President Trump wants drug prices to be lower in the U.S. than in other developed countries, discussing the idea of "most favored nation status" to reflect that.

"[Trump's] view — which he’s articulated publicly — is that America ought to be getting the best deal among developed countries. That is the terminology of most favored nation status."

Background: The administration's international pricing index would have aligned what Medicare pays for some prescription drugs with what other major countries pay. Now, Azar says Trump wants to go further.

  • When Trump first started talking about "most favored nation status" over the summer, it wasn't clear what the shift in terminology meant.

What Azar said: The U.S. pays "over 180% [of] what European, Japanese and other developed country peers pay. What we suggested was reducing that 180% premium by 30%. The president did not find that satisfactory."

Go deeper: Axios' Deep Dive on the maze of prescription drug pricing

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Zuckerberg says Trump’s “shooting” tweet didn’t violate Facebook’s rules

Mark Zuckerberg at the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on February 15. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Facebook did not remove President Trump's threat to send the National Guard to Minneapolis because the company's policy on inciting violence allows discussion on state use of force, CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a post on Friday.

The big picture: Zuckerberg's statement comes on the heels of leaked internal criticism from Facebook employees over how the company handled Trump's posts about the Minneapolis protests and his unsubstantiated claims on mail-in ballots — both of which Twitter has now taken action on.

Updated 20 seconds ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,919,364— Total deaths: 364,459 — Total recoveries — 2,490,221Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 1,745,606 — Total deaths: 102,798 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  4. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  5. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
  6. 1 sports thing: NCAA outlines plan to get athletes back to campus.

Trump says he spoke with George Floyd's family

President Trump in the Rose Garden on May 29. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Friday that he had spoken with the family of George Floyd, a black resident of Minneapolis who died after a police officer knelt on his neck on Monday.

Driving the news: Former Vice President Joe Biden said via livestream a few hours earlier that he, too, had spoken with Floyd's family. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee implored white Americans to consider systemic injustices against African Americans more broadly, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports.