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Trump Pledges To Lower Drug Costs — Can We Do It?45:45
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In this Friday, July 8, 2016, photo, pharmacist technician Irene Arrenquin fills a prescription for the anti-diarrhea drug diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate at Pucci's Pharmacy, in Sacramento, Calif. The drug is one of several that has seen a significant cost increase in recent months. In an effort to discourage drugmakers from raising their prices too quickly or introducing new medications that are unaffordable to the average person, state Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Azusa, has introduced legislation that would require drug makers to provide advance notice before making big price increases. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)MoreCloseclosemore
In this Friday, July 8, 2016, photo, pharmacist technician Irene Arrenquin fills a prescription for the anti-diarrhea drug diphenoxylate hydrochloride and atropine sulfate at Pucci's Pharmacy, in Sacramento, Calif. The drug is one of several that has seen a significant cost increase in recent months. In an effort to discourage drugmakers from raising their prices too quickly or introducing new medications that are unaffordable to the average person, state Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Azusa, has introduced legislation that would require drug makers to provide advance notice before making big price increases. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

With guest host Anthony Brooks.

President Trump says in his State of the Union that going after the high cost of prescription drugs is a top priority. Politicians have promised for years to bring them down. We’ll examine his medical checklist, and the prospects for fixing an intractable problem.

Plus, we talk about a plan by Amazon, J.P. Morgan and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway to lower the healthcare costs for their workers. Could the rest of America be next?

Highlight from this show: Can Amazon Upend The Healthcare Market, Too?

Guests:

Dylan Scott, health policy reporter for Vox. (@dylanlscott)

Rachel Sachs, professor of law, Washington University in St. Louis. (@RESachs)

Alison Bateman-House, professor in the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University School of Medicine. (@ABatemanHouse)

Noam Levey, national healthcare reporter at the Los Angeles Times. (@noamlevey)

From The Reading List:

Vox: Trump's Abandoned Promise To Bring Down Drug Prices — "One year into Donald Trump’s presidency, as he delivered his first State of the Union address, he has more or less abandoned his outspoken pledges to bring down the cost of America’s medicines, the highest in the world."

Los Angeles Times: Amazon, J.P. Morgan And Berkshire Hathaway Team Up To Lower Healthcare Costs For Their Workers – And Maybe Everyone — "Three of the nation's most formidable companies — Amazon.com, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. — sent shock waves through the healthcare industry Tuesday by announcing a joint plan to reduce healthcare costs for their U.S. employees."

Bill Of Health: How To 'Lower Drug Prices' Without Lowering Drug Prices — "Yesterday, Alex Azar was sworn in as the Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services. A key question is whether Azar will take action against high drug prices, and if so, what he will do."

During his State of the Union address this week, President Trump pledged to bring down the cost of prescription drugs – but what exactly is he proposing? As a candidate, Trump the populist railed against the pharmaceutical companies, accusing them of getting away with murder, sounding a lot like Bernie Sanders on this issue. But as president, his administration is full of people with close ties to the drug industry. This hour, On Point: is Trump’s drug price proposal for real? --Anthony Brooks

This program aired on February 1, 2018.

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