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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

38 mins ago - Health

CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers

Travelers with their luggage arrive at a COVID-19 testing location at the airport in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 23, 2021. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday night that it is working to impose stricter testing requirements for international travelers due to the spread of the new Omicron variant.

The big picture: The new rules would require all international travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to show a negative test taken a day before their flight to the U.S. Currently, the CDC says fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to show a test taken no more than three days before their departure, AP reports.

Republicans threaten to shut down government over vaccine mandates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the Capitol in November 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are planning to force a government shutdown Friday to deny funding needed to enforce the Biden administration's vaccine mandates on the private sector, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Congress has until the end of the week to pass a stopgap measure to extend funding into 2022, though objection from a small group of Republicans could shut down the government.

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.