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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Apart From A Few ‘Sacrificial Lambs,’ Pharma Emerges From Trump’s Speech Largely Unscathed

KHN Morning Briefing

President Donald Trump’s long-anticipated speech on curbing drug prices focused on reducing inefficiencies in the current system, rather than taking swings at pharmaceutical companies. Trump had a few barbs for the industry, noting that “the drug lobby is making an absolute fortune at the expense of customers,” but the only proposal that specifically dealt with prescription drug pricing was a suggestion that a treatment’s cost be disclosed in its advertisements.

Feeling Marginalized In Massive Opioid Lawsuit, Native Americans Request Own Day In Court

KHN Morning Briefing

Native American tribes are among those the opioid epidemic has hit the hardest, though scant attention has been paid to how the crisis is ripping through their communities. At least 20 tribes have formally sued opioid manufacturers and distributors, with at least 10 more suits expected to be filed soon. In other news on the crisis: discarded syringes; staffing shortages’ effects on regulating opioids coming into the country; the impact of the epidemic on rural communities; and more.

Proposals In Trump’s Long-Awaited Speech On Curbing Drug Prices Only Expected To Have Modest Impact

KHN Morning Briefing

President Donald Trump is expected to focus on pharmacy benefit managers, foreign governments and generic drugs in his speech today. He’s reportedly backed away from a campaign talking point on allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. Critics have been quick to point out that the proposals will do little to rock the pharma industry, which Trump once claimed was “getting away with murder.”

Democrats See Opportunity In Trump’s Inaction To Reclaim High Drug Prices As Winning Issue

KHN Morning Briefing

Drug price negotiation has been a longtime plank of the Democratic platform, but President Donald Trump made it his own talking point during his campaign and the early days of his tenure. Now, Democrats want to take it back. Meanwhile, CMS Administrator Seema Verma blasted pharmacy-benefit managers and the model Medicare uses to pay for drugs.

Two Drug Epidemics, Decades Apart: Why Government’s Response To Opioid Epidemic Different Than Crack Crisis

KHN Morning Briefing

Many see race as a crucial factor in how Congress and health officials have focused on prevention and education rather than punishment. White victims make up almost 80 percent of the deaths from opioid overdoses, while, in contrast, in 2000, 84 percent of crack cocaine offenders were black. In other news on the crisis: a 25-year-old pill for nerve pain raises some red flags; the DEA issues an immediate suspension of opioid sales by a wholesale distributor; drug distributors head to Capitol Hill; and more.