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Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Marathon Pharmaceuticals is delaying the U.S. launch of its drug recently approved to treat patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy after its $89,000 list price stoked an uproar from Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Elijah Cummings, patient groups and many who work in the industry.

Patient advocacy group Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy announced the pause, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, on Monday afternoon. The group said it was "alarmed by the hefty price tag being considered for Emflaza in the U.S., especially considering this is not a new drug."

Marathon responded that it is "taking this pause so that conversations between the company and the community can continue before a launch price is finalized." The company had said the amount it will actually receive, net of rebates and discounts, will be $54,000 annually — still a lot more expensive than what the drug costs abroad.

Why this matters: Several years ago, Marathon's drug price hike would have floated under the radar. But this is the clearest example yet of what will happen if drug companies price medications beyond what is acceptable by the public and Congress.

Go deeper

Burnout, money, concern drive Harris turnover

Vice President Kamala Harris and another potential 2024 presidential candidate, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, appeared together Thursday in Charlotte, N.C. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Burnout, better opportunities and concern about being permanently branded a "Harris person" is driving some of the turnover in Vice President Kamala Harris's office, people familiar with the situation tell Axios.

Why it matters: Harris is not only a heartbeat from the presidency but, by virtue of her office, the presumed 2024 frontrunner if President Biden doesn't seek re-election. There's been an inordinate amount of disarray — and, now, turnover — throughout her tenure.

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Health measures taken to combat COVID-19 before the emergence of Omicron would also help against the new variant of concern, World Health Organization officials said Friday.

What they're saying: Takeshi Kasai, WHO regional director for the Western Pacific, said during a virtual briefing broadcast from Manila, Philippines, that border controls imposed by the U.S. and other nations can "buy time" to deal with the variant, but warned "every country and every community must prepare for new surges in cases."

4 hours ago - Health

Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Nevada's Public Employees' Benefit Program Board voted Thursday to charge workers enrolled in public employee health insurance plans a surcharge of up to $55 a month if they're not vaccinated against COVID-19, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state to announce such a move, per AP.