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What We're Reading: Is Trump Softening Stance on Controlling Drug Prices?


What we're reading, November 16, 2016: Donald Trump seems to be backing away from his hard stance on controlling drug prices; DC lawmakers pass assisted suicide law; and doctors often do not consider cost a top issue when deciding on treatments.

Completely repealing the Affordable Care Act is not the only campaign promise President-elect Donald Trump is already backpedaling on. According to the Los Angeles Times, Trump seems to be backing off his plans to control rising drug prices. The subject of pharmaceutical prices hasn’t been raised since the election, but it remains the top healthcare issue among Americans. The Trump agenda on healthcare has 6 healthcare priorities, but doesn’t mention drug prices.

In the District of Columbia, lawmakers passed an assisted suicide bill by a vote of 11-2. The bill needs the mayor’s signature, at which point it goes to Congress for review, reported The Washington Post. DC’s “Death with Dignity” bill allows terminally ill patients who have less than 6 months to live to request lethal medication from a doctor. Congress can undo any laws passed by the District of Columbia.

A survey of more than 800 doctors found that cost is not often an important consideration when deciding treatment. Among 6 types of doctors surveyed, only primary care physicians said cost was one of the most important factors, behind drug safety, efficacy, and if the drug is well tolerated, according to STAT. Among oncologists, cost was only the sixth most important issue, and pulmonologists ranked it last.

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