2. PhRMA: Trump deserves credit on prices
The pharmaceutical industry is spending a lot of time on defense these days, but its leading spokesman says the Trump administration isn't getting the credit it deserves for actions that could pass more savings on to consumers.
Key quote: "If you look at steps CMS has taken around the 340B program ... and other ideas, I think they have taken some concrete steps on drug costs that have not been reported or they’re not getting the credit they deserve," Steve Ubl, president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, told Axios in an interview..
How it works: 340B provides discounted drugs for certain hospitals and health care centers with a large proportion of low-income patients. Pharma argues that hospitals have learned to game the program.
- "I think the oversight that you’ve seen around the supply chain, around the 340B program, around steps that could be taken to align incentives without taking heavy-handed steps is a good thing," Ubl said.
Between the lines: Committees in the House and Senate have held hearings on 340B, but it's not clear that will actually lead to any legislation, especially this year.
- Both committees are also working on opioid legislation, which is a higher priority, and domestic policymaking for 2018 is already almost over.
- And, as powerful a lobby as PhRMA is, hospitals have plenty of muscle on Capitol Hill, too.