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What We're Reading: Pfizer Halts Price Increases; Azar's Attention Is Split; VA Pick Clears First Hurdle

AJMC Staff
After facing criticism from President Donald Trump, Pfizer is reversing course on recent drug price increases; HHS Secretary Alex Azar has become the point person for the migrant crisis, splitting his attention between reuniting families and healthcare issues like drug costs and the opioid epidemic; a Senate panel has voted to back Robert Wilkie to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Pfizer Backtracks on Some Recent Price Increases

After facing criticism from President Donald Trump, Pfizer is reversing course on some recent drug price increases. According to The Wall Street Journal, Pfizer decided to return drug prices to where they were before July 1 after its CEO had a long talk with Trump. The pause on price increases will remain until either the president puts into place his plan to curb drug prices or the end of the year.

 

HHS’ Azar’s Attention Split Between Migrant Crisis and Healthcare

Since the president implemented a zero-tolerance border policy, HHS Secretary Alex Azar has become the point person for the migrant crisis. As he’s been working to reunite the thousands of children separated from their parents, Azar is still trying to focus on healthcare issues like drug costs and the opioid epidemic, reported Politico. However, because HHS takes custody of refugees, Azar is in charge of addressing the situation, and it has pulled some time and resources away from other issues, said insiders.

 

Pick to Lead VA Passes Senate Panel

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee voted to back Robert Wilkie, the president’s pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, was the only “no” vote on the committee, according to The Associated Press. The VA has been beset by turmoil over delays in providing care to veterans. Wilkie has insisted he would not seek to privatize the VA, something Trump is eager to do. If confirmed by the full Senate, Wilkie will be in charge of carrying out a new law from the president that would ease veterans’ access to private healthcare providers.

 
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