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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2 hours ago - World

U.S. policy shift will allow taxpayer funding for projects in West Bank settlements

Friedman (L) with Netanyahu. Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel will announce tomorrow that they are expanding three agreements on scientific cooperation to include Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is a substantial policy shift for the U.S., which did not previously allow its taxpayers' money to be spent in the Israeli settlements.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage" Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse.
  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Putin mandates face masks.

McConnell: Confirming Amy Coney Barrett will help GOP retain Senate

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed no regrets about Judge Amy Coney Barrett's controversial confirmation, telling Politico in an interview that he believes the decision to place her on the Supreme Court just a week before the election will help Republicans retain the Senate.

Why it matters: With a week to go until Election Day, many Republicans are concerned that President Trump's unpopularity could cost them the Senate. McConnell has long viewed the transformation of the federal judiciary through the confirmation of young conservative judges as his defining legacy.