May 11, 2018

Trump's plan for drug costs goes easy on Big Pharma

Alex Edelman-Pool/Getty Images

The Trump administration's plan for lowering prescription drug costs does not include many new steps to bring down the actual price of drugs. Instead, it largely targets other parts of the health care system and re-emphasizes existing efforts to lower costs through more competition.

Key quote: “We are very much eliminating the middlemen," President Trump said in a Rose Garden speech unveiling the plan. And that's where most of its emphasis lies. It entertains the idea of new price disclosures and reshuffling some of the discounts that various middlemen negotiate off of drugs' sticker prices. But when it comes to reducing those sticker prices, Trump's plan leans heavily on more competition from generic drugs — an initiative that's already in progress at the FDA.

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Serological coronavirus testing could be key to economic reopening

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

America's economy won't reopen anytime soon, despite frantic CEO whispers, but a glimmer of hope may be emerging in the form of serological testing.

Why it matters: Serologic tests aren't to determine whether or not you're infected with coronavirus. They are to determine if you have potential immunity that could allow you to safely return to work.

Government tech struggles to dole out coronavirus stimulus cash

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Tech challenges are hampering federal and state government efforts to get funds from the $2 trillion coronavirus relief law into the hands of newly unemployed workers and struggling small businesses who need it.

Why it matters: Many businesses and individuals need the money now for essentials, including meeting payroll and paying rent.

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll passes 9,600

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 9,600 in the U.S. on Monday, per Johns Hopkins data. More than 1,000 people in the U.S. have died of coronavirus-related conditions each day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday the coming week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

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