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Axios' Caitlin Owens and former FDA commissioner Mark McClellan. Photo courtesy of Axios Events

Having a reliable supply of pharmaceutical drugs throughout America will be "absolutely critical" to boosting affordability in health care during the Biden administration, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Mark McClellan said at a virtual Axios Event on Friday.

The big picture: McClellan, who served under President George W. Bush, says drugs having limited supply and limited competition leads to elevated pricing. He considers drug supply to be a national security and public health issue.

  • McClellan notes that the FDA under a Biden administration could continue working with "many hospitals that are implementing new ways of purchasing drugs to have more reliable supply and avoiding those big price jumps for important generic drugs."

His bottom line: The former commissioner adds that the COVID-19 pandemic offers an in-the-moment opportunity for officials to reform America's health care system.

  • "I think there's some real opportunities to leverage the challenges that we've seen in health care affordability and, I'd add to that, access during the pandemic as we head out of it and not go back to the system that we had before. That includes uncoordinated and often high drug prices."

Watch the event.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Jan 21, 2021 - Health

Tackling mental health via app

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A tech startup is helping providers monitor their patients' moods and mental health status through a remote app.

Why it matters: Mental health is an unaddressed crisis in the U.S., and it's only gotten worse during COVID-19. NeuroFlow can help users track their own mental health while making it easier for health care professionals to identify when their patients are in crisis.

Jan. 6 committee subpoenas Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell

Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot released its latest round of subpoenas on Tuesday evening, this time focusing on several of former President Trump's lawyers, including Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, and former adviser Boris Epshteyn.

Why it matters: The panel said the four individuals subpoenaed were involved in efforts publicly promote Trump's unfounded claims of election fraud as well as efforts to "disrupt or delay" the certification of the election's results.

3 hours ago - World

U.S. warns Russia may attack Ukraine from Belarus

Belarus dictator AlexPhoto: Mikhail Klimentyev\TASS via Getty Images

The U.S. believes that Russia may use joint military exercises inside Belarus as cover for an invasion of Ukraine from the north, according to a senior State Department official.

Why it matters: New deployments to the Belarus-Ukraine border in the coming weeks — in addition to the 100,000 Russian troops already encircling Ukraine from the north, east and south — could allow Russia to open up a new front less than 100 miles from the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.