Dec 4, 2019

The strange bedfellows opposing drug-pricing bills across the U.S.

A group opposing drug pricing measures around the country includes major pharmaceutical companies as well as large construction-industry unions, the New York Times reports — strange bedfellows, to say the least.

Why it matters: Ads run by the Pharmaceutical Industry Labor-Management Association may confuse public perception of the nature of opposition to drug-pricing measures.

  • For example, the group ran Facebook ads against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's drug-pricing bill, although the bill is supported by many major labor groups.

Between the lines: Unions have an interest in lowering prescription drug prices, both as a way to relieve the stress of high out-of-pocket drug spending and of lowering total health costs.

  • The group's executive director said that its focus is on union construction jobs. Its positions are similar to those of the drug industry.

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House passes Pelosi-backed drug pricing bill

Photo: Drew Angerer/GettyImages

The House on Thursday passed a drug pricing bill backed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi that would allow the federal government to negotiate prices for specific drugs on behalf of Medicare and the private market.

Why it matters: Pelosi struck a last-minute deal with progressive Democrats who thought the bill didn't go far enough. Nonetheless, the bill has almost no chance in a Republican-controlled Senate.

Go deeper: Nancy Pelosi's drug pricing bill threatens small biotech companies

Keep ReadingArrowDec 12, 2019

Impeachment hasn't dulled Trump's interest in drug prices

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Trump administration is pushing ahead with its drug pricing agenda even as impeachment sucks up all the political oxygen, with plans to advance some of its most ambitious regulations and to work with Congress on legislation.

Why it matters: Drug pricing remains a huge issue that both parties want to run on in 2020. For Trump, there's a lot of pressure: His most ambitious proposals have either been tabled, are tied up in the courts or have yet to be implemented.

Go deeperArrowNov 25, 2019

The White House is unhappy with private equity's surprise medical billing ads

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The White House hasn't weighed in on how to resolve the debate over surprise medical bills, but Joe Grogan, head of the Domestic Policy Council, had some choice words about ads being run by private equity-backed groups:

What they're saying: "The advertisements that are targeting members on this and are being run by the private equity groups who are using the arbitrage on surprise medical billing should make every American and member want to puke," Grogan told Axios.

Go deeperArrowNov 27, 2019