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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

Updated 39 mins ago - Health

First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada

COVID-19 testing personnel at Toronto Pearson International Airport in September. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first two cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in North America, the Canadian government announced Sunday evening.

Driving the news: The World Health Organization has named Omicron a "variant of concern," but cautioned earlier on Sunday that it is not yet clear whether it's more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.

4 hours ago - Health

WHO: Not yet known whether Omicron leads to more severe disease

Photo illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The World Health Organization on Sunday said that it is not yet clear whether the newly discovered Omicron variant is more transmissible than other strains of the COVID-19 virus.

Why it matters: The agency's statement comes as the variant, discovered in South Africa, has already been detected in European and Asian countries.

9 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.

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