Ron Sachs / Pool via CNP /MediaPunch/IPX

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the main drug industry trade group, has been pushing for changes to the way insurers pay for drugs — encouraging them to pay based on how effective they are for specific diseases and patients. Now, the group says it's more optimistic about getting the legislative and regulatory changes that would be needed, following its meeting with President Trump last month.

"It did come up," PhRMA president and CEO Stephen Ubl told reporters this morning after an event to promote the idea. He wouldn't talk in more detail about the Trump meeting, but he suggested the idea might be gaining traction as an alternative to having the government negotiate drug prices, as Trump has also suggested: "I do believe that people believe that this is a policy that enhances the private market and is a potential better route than government price setting."

Why it matters: The drug industry would much rather have the "value-based" payments as a way to make drugs more affordable, rather than government action. But there are barriers that would have to be removed, and Ubl says that probably will take a combination of congressional action and regulatory changes from the Food and Drug Administration. Ubl said the group is talking with members of Congress from both parties, but he also says a new FDA commissioner "will make a real difference."

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

U.S. hits highest daily COVID-19 case count since pandemic began

Expand chart
COVID Tracking Project

The U.S. confirmed at least 83,010 coronavirus cases on Friday, the country's highest daily total since the pandemic started, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

By the numbers: Friday's total surpassed the U.S.'s previous record set on July 17 when 76,842 cases were recorded. 

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months.
  2. Sports: The youth sports exodus continues — Big Ten football is back.
  3. Health: AstraZeneca to resume vaccine trial in U.S.How to help save 130,000 lives.
  4. Retail: Santa won't greet kids at Macy's this year.
  5. World: Spain and France exceed 1 million cases.
4 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Trump hasn't been to a COVID task force meeting in months

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump has not attended a White House coronavirus task force meeting in “several months,” NIAID director Anthony Fauci told MSNBC on Friday.

Why it matters: At the beginning of the pandemic, the task force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, met every day, but in the "last several weeks," members have held virtual meetings once a week, Fauci said, even as the number of new cases continues to surge in the country.