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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

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

What to listen for in Biden's inaugural address

Vice President-elect Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, and President-elect Biden and Dr. Jill Biden arrive in Washington yesterday. Photo: Tom Brenner/Reuters

Reflecting both the man and the times, President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.'s inaugural address needs as much reality as poetry.

What to watch ... The president-elect will do both, sources tell me: Biden’s biography equips him not just to deliver a great speech, but also to start putting the public sector back in good working order.

Biden to sign 15 executive actions on Day One

President-elect Joe Biden. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to sign 15 executive actions upon taking office Wednesday, immediately reversing key Trump administration policies.

Why it matters: The 15 actions — aimed at issues like climate change and immigration — mark more drastic immediate steps compared with the two day-one actions from Biden's four predecessors combined, according to incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Off the Rails

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage, Alex Wong/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence. Trump believes the vice president can solve all his problems by simply refusing to certify the Electoral College results. It's a simple test of loyalty: Trump or the U.S. Constitution.

"The end is coming, Donald."

The male voice in the TV ad boomed through the White House residence during "Fox & Friends" commercial breaks. Over and over and over. "The end is coming, Donald. ... On Jan. 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin."