What We're Reading: Trump Also Calls for Medicare to Negotiate Drug Prices

January 27, 2016

What we're reading, January 27, 2016: Donald Trump joins Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in calling for Medicare being given the ability to negotiate drug prices; $70 million approved for new patient-centered research projects; and the Zika virus likely to spread to the United States.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders aren’t the only vocal presidential hopefuls calling for Medicare to be able to negotiate with drugmakers—so is Donald Trump. The Republican frontrunner told the crowd that had come out to see him in New Hampshire that the nation could save $300 billion through such negotiations. Reuters reported that despite Trump’s comments, it seems unlikely that other Republicans will adopt such a proposal.

Until now, the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which has become a major health concern for newborns, has been mostly contained to South America and the Caribbean. However, the CDC has issued guidelines for evaluating and testing infants in the US suspected of being infected and now the World Health Organization stated it expects the Zika virus to spread to all of the Americas, reported The Washington Post. The virus may be the cause for thousands of infants born with brain damage.

In a news release, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) announced that it approved $70 million for 9 new patient-centered research projects. The newly approved projects include a study on the effectiveness of 2 medications commonly used to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the effectiveness of different approaches to help adults with serious mental illness quite smoking. To date, PCORI has approved or awarded more than $1.2 billion in research funding.