Nov 2, 2018

2. Trump’s push to raise drug prices abroad

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Trump administration’s latest move on drug prices is designed in part to raise prices in Europe. And that’s not the first time the White House has focused on raising prices abroad — the recent trade deal with Canada and Mexico could as well.

"Both could, at least plausibly, address the president’s stated goal of increasing how much other countries pay for drugs," says Benedic Ippolito of the American Enterprise Institute.

How it works: The trade deal gives biologics 10 years of data protection in all 3 countries.

  • "More patent protection mechanically increases Canadian payments for those drugs, though likely will not affect what we pay," Ippolito says.
  • And if the Trump administration ties Medicare Part B drug prices to European prices, drug companies can "strategically game the system — for example, they can focus their efforts on raising prices in the countries included in the basket or delay introduction of medicines in those countries so as not to affect the U.S. price," Harvard professor Suerie Moon says.

"I would say there is a relationship between the two measures — in both cases the industry's bottom line is amply protected and may even be expanded," Moon adds.

Go deeper

Pro-Trump warrior takes the helm of U.S. intelligence

Richard Grenell in Berlin. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

By picking Ambassador Richard Grenell to be acting director of national intelligence, President Trump has slotted a pro-Trump warrior into the ultimate apolitical role.

What they're saying: James Clapper, the longest-serving DNI (2010-2017), tells Axios it's "very worrisome installing a partisan with no real intelligence experience in this position."

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers as Israel confirms first case

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship — as Israel confirmed its first case among evacuees from the ship.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 76,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

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California's "woman quota" law seems to be working

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

When California passed its boardroom law requiring public companies based there to have at least one female director, there were concerns it would spark a gold rush for the same handful of well-known women — but that hasn’t happened.

Why it matters: Of the 138 women who joined all-male California boards last year, 62% are serving on their first company board, per a study by accounting firm KPMG. That means a majority of companies aren't contributing to so-called overboarding in corporate America.