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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The pharmaceutical industry's lobbyists will really have to work for those millions once Congress comes back from its August recess.

Driving the news: Drug pricing will likely dominate the fall agenda in Congress.

  • The bipartisan leadership of the Senate Finance Committee — Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) — released their long-awaited drug pricing bill yesterday. Finance is slated to mark it up on Thursday.
  • House Democrats, meanwhile, are planning to roll out their own bill after the recess — meaning both chambers could have their bills on the floor in September.

On the substance, the bipartisan Senate bill is pretty far-reaching, in the sense that it reaches into many parts of the system. The House bill may end up being more aggressive on its big-ticket items, though.

  • The Senate measure would cap price increases in Medicare Part D and Part B, put a cap on seniors' out-of-pocket costs, and reshape Part D more broadly to deal with some of the program's backwards incentives.

What they're saying: PhRMA, the industry's leading trade organization, said yesterday that the bill "fails to meet the fundamental test of providing meaningful relief at the pharmacy counter for the vast majority of seniors," while the White House signaled its support.

My thought bubble: Everyone's written a million stories about congressional Republicans being pulled between President Trump and some traditionally conservative idea or interest group.

  • But none of those traditional allies have brought as much campaign cash to the table as pharma. That tension could be real this time.
  • Even so, with a bipartisan framework to start and Trump's blessing on top of it, the industry will face a daunting challenge trying to stop the Senate from passing anything serious.
  • And if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can get the progressives in her caucus on board, then we'd be back to the dynamic I mentioned yesterday: testing the bounds of Pelosi's and Trump's ability and willingness to make a deal.

Go deeper

Updated 35 mins ago - World

U.S. releases report finding Saudi prince approved Khashoggi operation

Photo: Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has released an unclassified report assessing that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) approved the operation to "capture or kill" Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

Driving the news: The White House also announced sanctions on entities implicated in the murder, though not on MBS directly. Officials also announced a new "Khashoggi ban" under which individuals accused of harassing journalists or dissidents outside their borders can be barred from entering the U.S.

About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says

Joe Biden speaks during an event commemorating the 50 million COVID-19 vaccine shots. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Nearly 1 in 5 adults and nearly half of Americans 65 and older have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, White House senior adviser Andy Slavitt said on Friday.

The big picture: The Biden administration has previously said it has secured enough doses to vaccinate most of the American population by the end of July.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: Employers mull COVID vaccine requirements — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategyPfizer begins study on 3rd vaccine dose as booster shot against new strains.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.