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The debate around prescription drug prices — including the Trump administration's proposal tying some Medicare drug prices to what other countries pay — raises an important question: How do other countries decide what to pay for drugs?

Why it matters: A recent World Health Organization report on cancer drugs, which found that cancer drugs' high cost is largely unjustified by development costs, detailed a handful of methods other countries use.

  • Cost-based pricing: A price is calculated by totaling the costs of producing the drug and then adding a profit margin.
  • Value-based pricing: A price is determined by the worth individuals and society place on the medicine. Measures of value can include need for the medicine, clinical evidence, economic and financial impact and innovativeness.
  • Reference pricing: This method uses benchmark prices to determine the price of a new drug, either from other countries or from a group of comparable medicines.
  • Tendering: This is a bidding process where the winning supplier is awarded a contract.
  • Negotiation: Often used in combination with the other pricing approaches to reach a deal between payers and suppliers.
  • Some countries also regulate markups along the drug supply and distribution chains.

The bottom line: All of these methods are complicated and have their own drawbacks, but the question of how to regulate drug prices has been asked and answered many times before.

Go deeper: U.S. drug prices don't translate to better health

Go deeper

Scoop: Anthony Coley to lead Justice Department public affairs

The U.S. Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C. Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images

Judge Merrick Garland, President Biden’s nominee for attorney general, has tapped Anthony Coley, an Obama-era Treasury Department official, to serve as a senior adviser and lead public affairs at the Department of Justice, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: As the public face of the DOJ, Coley will help explain — and defend — the department's actions, from sensitive cases to prosecutorial decisions, including the investigation into Hunter Biden.

AP: Justice Dept. rescinds "zero tolerance" policy

A young girl waves to onlookers through the fence at the US-Mexico border wall at Friendship Park in San Ysidro, California in Nov. 2018. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden's acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson issued a memo on Tuesday to revoke the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, which separated thousands of migrant children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, AP first reported.

Driving the news: A recent report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz emphasized the internal chaos at the agency over the implementation of the policy, which resulted in 545 parents separated from their children as of October 2020.

Biden picks up his pen to change the tone on racial equity

Vice President Harris looks on as President Biden signs executives orders related to his racial equity agenda. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden is making a down payment on racial equity in a series of executive orders dealing with everything from private prisons to housing discrimination, treatment of Asian Americans and relations with indigenous tribes.

The big picture: Police reform and voting rights legislation will take time to pass in Congress. But with the stroke of his pen, one week into the job Biden is taking steps within his power as he seeks to change the tone on racial justice from former President Trump.