Apr 9, 2019

GOP senators take a sharp left turn on drug prices

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL). Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Freshman GOP Sens. Rick Scott and Josh Hawley introduced a new drug pricing bill last week that could have been written by Bernie Sanders, and it's not being attacked by GOP leadership.

The bottom line: The bill would, among other things, ban drug companies from charging Americans a higher list price than they charge consumers in Canada, France, the U.K., Japan or Germany.

Details: The bill doesn't limit this requirement to any particular drug market, meaning it goes much further than the Trump administration's proposal to tie Medicare Part B drug prices to the price of those drugs in other countries.

What they're saying: "I’m sure [Pharma] hate[s] it," Hawley told me. "But look, they're not good actors. I mean, Big Pharma has gotten a sweetheart deal, they’ve gotten huge, they’ve gotten powerful, they’ve gotten rich, and I’m not terribly sympathetic to their position on this."

  • "It’s got people talking, I’ll put it that way," said Sen. John Thune, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, when I asked him about the bill.

My thought bubble: If you haven't yet been convinced that the politics surrounding drug prices has changed, think again.

Go deeper: Congress confronts drug prices

Go deeper

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

Protesters gather at Hennepin County Government Plaza on Thursday in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Protests in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who died shortly after a police encounter in Minneapolis, are ongoing as the nation waits to see if the officers involved will be charged with murder.

The state of play: Minnesota's governor on Thursday activated the state's national guard following violent outbreaks throughout the week.

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand has a single novel coronavirus case after reporting a week of no new infections, the Ministry of Health confirmed on Friday local time.

By the numbers: Nearly 6 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 2.3 million have recovered from the virus. Over 357,000 people have died globally. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world with over 1.6 million.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,803,416 — Total deaths: 359,791 — Total recoveries — 2,413,576Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 1,720,613 — Total deaths: 101,573 — Total recoveries: 399,991 — Total tested: 15,646,041Map.
  3. Public health: The mystery of coronavirus superspreaders.
  4. Congress: Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay — Sen. Tim Kaine and wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  5. World: Twitter slapped a fact-check label on a pair of months-old tweets from a Chinese government spokesperson that falsely suggested that the coronavirus originated in the U.S.
  6. 2020: The RNC has issued their proposed safety guidelines for its planned convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  7. Axios on HBO: Science fiction writers tell us how they see the coronavirus pandemic.
  8. 🏃‍♀️Sports: Boston Marathon canceled after initial postponement, asks runners to go virtual.
  9. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.