Jul 31, 2019

HHS announces pathways for prescription drug importation

HHS Secretary Alex Azar. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Trump administration announced Wednesday that it is taking steps to open the door for prescription drugs to be imported into the U.S. from other countries.

The big picture: Drug importation has long been a policy idea championed mostly by Democrats, but there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical that it'll have much of an impact on drug prices — beginning with other countries' lack of enthusiasm for sending us their drugs.

Go deeper: Importing prescription drugs from Canada is tougher than it sounds

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Importation isn't a silver bullet to lower drug prices

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Trump administration is moving forward on the traditionally Democratic policy of importing prescription drugs from abroad, but the impact — if the proposals are actually finalized — could be pretty muted.

The big picture: While importation could help some patients afford their drugs, the policy overall is an attempt to take advantage of other countries' lower drug prices while avoiding taking direct action to limit prices in the U.S.

Go deeperArrowAug 1, 2019

How Democrats want to limit drug prices

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The Democratic presidential candidates' plans to lower drug prices are much more aggressive than what the party has supported in the past.

Between the lines: There are big differences among the candidates' platforms, but the entire debate has shifted to the left.

Go deeperArrowAug 8, 2019

Hospitals' drug bills are likely going up in 2020

Health systems should expect a 4.57% increase in their drug spending in 2020, according to a new analysis by Vizient, a health care performance improvement company.

Why it matters: Some of the most expensive drugs on the market are administered in hospitals and doctors' offices, and they're folded into a patient's overall hospital bill.

Go deeperArrowAug 7, 2019