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Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo. Photos: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images and Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Neither Congress nor the Trump administration is likely to get much done this year on drug prices, despite the clear political upside to doing so.

Between the lines: Polls consistently show that drug prices are a top concern for voters. President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also seem to agree a lot on the policy. But a deal keeps getting further away.

Where it stands: The House is set to vote on Pelosi's bill next week, though if push ever comes to shove, she has a small and diminishing incentive to help Trump claim a big victory right before his reelection campaign.

  • The White House has thrown its weight behind a bipartisan bill in the Senate, but leadership has never been particularly warm to that effort, and rank-and-file Republicans have also backed away from parts of the plan.

The big picture: The pharmaceutical industry almost always gets its way in Washington.

  • The industry's top two trade organizations, together, spent more than $35 million on lobbying in 2018, more than they've ever spent before.
  • That doesn't include individual companies' contributions, nor does it include any of the industry's campaign contributions, which are substantial.

Trump's regulatory agenda on drug prices isn't faring much better. The administration has abandoned several of its ideas.

  • It's now working on a proposal to tie Medicare's payments to the prices European countries pay, but Trump would probably need a second term in order to see that one through.

And prices keep going up. The most expensive drug in the world — a gene replacement therapy that treats spinal muscular atrophy — came to market earlier this year, with a sticker price of $2.1 million in the U.S.

  • That drug is a groundbreaking new therapy, but prices also continue to rise for old, familiar products that people depend on every day — most notably, insulin.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

6 hours ago - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.