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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Over the past few years, there’s been a growing push from researchers to figure out which drugs are worth their price tags.

Other countries, like the U.K., attempt to answer that question with governmental bodies of experts who determine how much value certain drugs provide, compared to their price. The U.S. doesn’t have such an organization, in part because the pharmaceutical industry hates the idea.

Where it stands: The independent Institute for Clinical and Economic Review, or ICER, has tried to fill that void here.

  • ICER said the expensive new cancer therapies known as CAR-T, which can cost as much as $500,000, are for the most part reasonably priced.
  • There’s a similar debate over new hepatitis C drugs, which have list prices near $100,000 per treatment and are essentially a cure, preventing expensive hospitalizations down the line.
  • ICER already works with the Department of Veterans Affairs to help determine which drugs it should and shouldn’t cover.

Yes, but: “The fact that we can spread a price across thousands or millions of people does not justify a given price,” Walid Gellad, a medical and pharmaceutical professor at the University of Pittsburgh, recently mused.

Go deeper: Read the rest of Axios' Deep Dive on prescription drug prices

Go deeper

Updated 41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat — Study: Trump campaign rallies likely led to over 700 COVID-related deaths.
  2. World: Boris Johnson announces month-long lockdown in England — Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike — Austria reimposes coronavirus lockdowns amid surge of infections.
  3. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  4. States: New York rolls out new testing requirements for visitors.

North Carolina police pepper-spray protesters marching to the polls

Officers in North Carolina used pepper spray on protesters and arrested eight people at a get-out-the-vote rally at Alamance County’s courthouse Saturday during the final day of early voting, the City of Graham Police Department confirmed.

Driving the news: The peaceful "I Am Change" march to the polls was organized by Rev. Greg Drumwright, from the Citadel Church in Greensboro, N.C., and included a minute's silence for George Floyd. Melanie Mitchell told the News & Observer her daughters, age 5 and 11, were among those pepper-sprayed by police soon after.

7 hours ago - Health

Boris Johnson announces month-long COVID-19 lockdown in England

Prime Minsiter Boris Johnson. Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

A new national lockdown will be imposed in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country topped 1 million.

Details: Starting Thursday, people in England must stay at home, and bars and restaurants will close, except for takeout and deliveries. All non-essential retail will also be shuttered. Different households will be banned from mixing indoors. International travel, unless for business purposes, will be banned. The new measures will last through at least December 2.