HHS Secretary Alex Azar. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Expect more big moves on prescription drug pricing today.

Driving the news: HHS Secretary Alex Azar is giving a "major policy address" on drug prices this afternoon.

  • Politico reported Friday that the administration would formally propose new regulations this week requiring drugmakers to include their sticker prices in their advertising, similar to the way they list side effects.
  • But the industry may preempt that: PhRMA, drugmakers' leading trade group, is planning a "major industry announcement" on direct-to-consumer advertising this morning.

Between the lines: Price transparency is popular, even bipartisan. But the specific weirdness of the health care system creates a situation in which more information may not actually be helpful.

  • Critics of the price-disclosure proposal note that most patients don't pay the full sticker price. If you have insurance, you pay a lower negotiated rate.
  • People familiar with the plan have told Axios previously that it would indeed focus on sticker prices.
  • Even though few people actually pay that price, there's no particularly good stand-in. Every insurance plan has different discounts, and each consumer's individual cost will depend on those negotiations as well as the structure of their plan (the size of their deductible and co-pays, for example) and where they are in their deductible.

The bottom line: There's no way to put a number on television that will be useful for everyone who sees it. Some critics even worry the disclosures could scare patients away from medicines that could help them, by giving them the impression they'll have to pay more than they really will.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 19,282,972 — Total deaths: 718,851 — Total recoveries — 11,671,491Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 4,937,441 — Total deaths: 161,248 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Politics: Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Warren and Clinton to speak on same night of Democratic convention

(Photos: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images, Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton both are slated to speak on the Wednesday of the Democratic convention — Aug. 19 — four sources familiar with the planning told Axios.

Why it matters: That's the same night Joe Biden's running mate (to be revealed next week) will address the nation. Clinton and Warren represent two of the most influential wise-women of Democratic politics with the potential to turn out millions of establishment and progressive voters in November.

Trump considering order on pre-existing condition protections, which already exist

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday he will pursue an executive order requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, something that is already law.

Why it matters: The Affordable Care Act already requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. The Trump administration is currently arguing in a case before the Supreme Court to strike down that very law — including its pre-existing condition protections.