Apr 18, 2018

White House reviewing drug-pricing plan

Rising drug prices are a top issue for voters. Photo: Education Images / UIG via Getty Images

The White House's Office of Management and Budget is officially evaluating a proposal from the Health and Human Services Department that would "lower drug prices and reduce out-of-pocket costs," ahead of President Trump's speech about drug prices next week.

The big picture: HHS and OMB did not respond when asked what was included, but the proposal likely will include ideas from Trump's budget that won't really target the pricing practices of pharmaceutical manufacturers.

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

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. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.