May 1, 2017

Americans favor Rx imports, despite safety warnings

Mel Evans / AP

A new survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that 60% of Americans believe that lowering the cost of prescription drugs should be a "top priority" for Trump and Congress. Meanwhile, 72% said Americans should be allowed to buy prescription drugs imported from Canada, and 64% said they should be able to purchase them from online pharmacies based in Canada.

Why it matters: This is consistent with previous polls showing broad public support for government action on drug prices, but Republicans on Capitol Hill will still be wary of it even as President Trump pushes the issue.

The big conflict: The poll shows most Americans think cheaper drugs can be imported safely from other countries, but four former FDA commissioners have warned that this would pose a big safety risk.

Other findings:

  • 92% believe the federal government should be allowed to negotiate with drug companies to get a lower price for people on Medicare.
  • 87% think it should be easier for generic drugs to come to market.
  • 86% believe drug companies should be required to release information to the public on how they determine drug prices.

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 885,687 — Total deaths: 44,216 — Total recoveries: 185,447Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 190,089 — Total deaths: 4,127 — Total recoveries: 7,141Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Vice President Mike Pence said that White House modeling suggests "Italy may be the most comparable area to the United States" in terms of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
  4. State updates: Washington and California appear to have slowed their surges of new cases — Florida cases have been doubling the past four days, approaching 7,000.
  5. China: The coronavirus could threaten D.C.'s bipartisan China consensus.
  6. 2020 update: Bernie Sanders urges Wisconsin to delay April 7 primary.
  7.  🎧 Podcast: The Defense Production Act
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Podcast: The Defense Production Act

The Trump administration has been hesitant to fully invoke the Defense Production Act to address medical supply shortages during the novel coronavirus outbreak. The New York Times reports that the Department of Defense has implemented DPA regularly during Trump’s presidency. Dan goes deeper with the Times' Zolan Kanno-Youngs.

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Pence: Coronavirus impact in U.S. may be "most comparable" to Italy

Vice President Mike Pence told CNN Wednesday that White House modeling suggests "Italy may be the most comparable area to the United States" in terms of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: Italy has become one of the global epicenters of the pandemic, with 105,792 cases and 12,428 deaths. Public health experts have warned for weeks that the U.S. would be on the same path if it didn't take drastic measures to stem the spread of the virus.

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