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Photo: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Trump administration is moving forward with new rules that would require drug companies to disclose their prices, rejecting the industry’s efforts to preempt those regulations.

Why it matters: This is the most direct conflict yet between pharmaceutical companies and the administration, and the dispute could quickly escalate into the courts.

Details: The Health and Human Services Department is expected to release new rules today that would require pharmaceutical companies to include drugs’ sticker prices in their TV ads, similar to the way they disclose side effects.

  • Drugmakers tried to preempt those rules this morning by offering an implicit compromise. PhRMA, the industry's leading trade group, said its members would voluntarily include statements, in voiceover or text, that direct viewers to websites where they can find pricing information, but would not include prices themselves in their ads.
  • "The drug industry remains resistant to providing real transparency around their prices, including the sky-high list prices that many patients pay," HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. "So while the pharmaceutical industry’s action today is a small step in the right direction, we will go further."

What’s next: PhRMA declined to explicitly threaten a lawsuit before seeing the regulations, but said mandatory list-price disclosures “would raise significant legal issues, including First Amendment concerns.”

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.