Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues.
Los Angeles Times: Trump’s Idea To Import Prescription Drugs From Canada Won’t Work
President Trump recently reiterated the pledge he made before taking office — that he’d work tirelessly to lower prices of prescription drugs. “Hard-working Americans don’t deserve to pay such high prices for the drugs they need,” Trump tweeted the other day. “We are fighting DAILY to make sure this HAPPENS.” His solution, he said, is for Americans to import drugs from Canada “that are MUCH CHEAPER than what we have now.” (David Lazarus, 12/2)
Stat: Drug-Pricing Proposals Are The Wrong Way To Reform Health Care
Here’s what good health care looks like: it emphasizes prevention, is accessible and affordable, and puts patients’ needs first. Unfortunately, recently proposed health care reforms from Congress don’t look like that at all. Instead, they seem to be leaving patients behind. Lawmakers in Washington are turning to overly complex alterations of the market and restrictive models of care that do little to directly help patients now. To get a clearer picture, they need to start listening to patients. (Liz Helms, 11/29)
The Wall Street Journal: Pelosi’s Never-Ending Trade Demands
Robert Lighthizer has bent over backward to win labor support for the U.S. trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, but House Democrats are still ordering the U.S. Trade Rep to perform more somersaults. … One demand is to reduce protections for biologic drugs such as gene and cell therapies. The USMCA includes 10 years of market exclusivity, which is five more than Mexico currently provides and two more than Canada. The U.S. allows drug makers to sell biologics for 12 years before generic biosimilars can be introduced. (12/3)
Bloomberg: Gene Therapies Get A $3 Billion Vote Of Confidence
Gene therapies — treatments that replace faulty genetic code to fight deadly diseases — are still in their infancy. Just two have been approved in the U.S. so far. But they got a big vote of confidence after the close of U.S. trading Monday when Japanese drugmaker Astellas Pharma Inc. announced it was buying Audentes Therapeutics Inc., a Bay Area developer of gene therapies, for $3 billion. The acquisition is a gamble for Astellas. It’s paying a substantial 110% premium over Audentes’s closing stock price on Monday, and the deal could constrain its ability to buy anything else of significance. And while there’s been a lot of progress in gene therapy — some treatments look like potential cures — no company has proved it can turn promise into sustained commercial success yet. Still, it may be worth the risk. (Max Nisen, 12/4)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.