Stories by Thomas J. Bollyky

Expert Voices

Poorer countries are falling further behind on cancer outcomes

Data: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios
Expert Voices

Trump's plan to bring down U.S. drug prices misses root causes

Donald Trump speaking from lectern
President Trump discussing his plan to lower drug prices on October 25, 2018. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump announced last Thursday a plan to reduce the United States’ uniquely high prescription drug prices. Medicare Part B will launch a demonstration project covering half the country that will base drug prices on an index sourced from 16 nations, most in Europe.

The big picture: The administration hopes aligning with an international price will bring down Medicare Part B drug costs, while forcing pharmaceutical firms to raise prices abroad to cover their R&D expenses. But the greatest reason U.S. drug costs are higher than other countries’ is that American public and private payers are restricted from bargaining effectively for lower prices, so Trump's plan is likely to have little effect.