Photo: George Frey/Getty Images

Two factors contribute to rising drug costs — price increases for existing drugs, and new drugs coming to market with high price tags.

The big picture: Each of those factors affects different parts of the market, according to a study published in the latest issue of Health Affairs. New products largely drive the cost increases for generics and specialty drugs, the study found, but price hikes on existing treatments drive the rising cost of brand-name drugs.

My thought bubble: A lot of the political debate over drug prices falls along these same lines.

  • The pharmaceutical industry would rather have a conversation about new specialty drugs that carry high price tags, but which often work a lot better than other, older treatments.
  • But the industry’s critics point to steep price hikes on old drugs — insulin is a prime example, as was the EpiPen — that are getting more expensive even though they’re not changing.
  • We’ll see plenty of both in 2019.

Go deeper: The drug pricing maze

Go deeper

Parties trade election influence accusations at Big Tech hearing

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A Senate hearing Wednesday with Big Tech CEOs became the backdrop for Democrats and Republicans to swap accusations of inappropriate electioneering.

Why it matters: Once staid tech policy debates are quickly becoming a major focal point of American culture and political wars, as both parties fret about the impact of massive social networks being the new public square.

1 hour ago - World

Germany goes back into lockdown

Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will enact one of Europe's strictest coronavirus lockdowns since spring, closing bars and restaurants nationwide for most of November, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Germany is the latest European country to reimpose some form of lockdown measures amid a surge in cases across the continent.

How overhyping became an election meddling tool

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

As online platforms and intelligence officials get more sophisticated about detecting and stamping out election meddling campaigns, bad actors are increasingly seeing the appeal of instead exaggerating their own interference capabilities to shake Americans' confidence in democracy.

Why it matters: It doesn't take a sophisticated operation to sow seeds of doubt in an already fractious and factionalized U.S. Russia proved that in 2016, and fresh schemes aimed at the 2020 election may already be proving it anew.

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