[Ip-health] News Round-Up: 2016 Election and Health Care Policy

Zack Struver zack.struver at keionline.org
Wed Nov 9 10:54:39 PST 2016

Dylan Scott for Stat News -- Big Pharma’s big question: Is Trump friend or


​<snip>Should President Donald Trump make drug makers relieved? Or anxious?

They’re not sure.

On the one hand, it was Clinton who pledged repeatedly to crack down on
prescription drug prices during the campaign. It was a Democratic takeover
of Washington that was considered the drug industry’s “worst-case
scenario.” Republicans now fully control the federal government.

And yet.

Trump broke with conservative orthodoxy when he said he wants Medicare to
directly negotiate the prices it pays for prescription drugs. He endorses
price transparency for the entire health care system. He supports allowing
drugs to be imported from other countries. All of those policies are
vigorously opposed by drug makers.

And he’s vowed to take on the powerful pharma lobby.

Drug costs weren’t a priority for Trump on the campaign trail, and his
populist tendencies may be tempered by House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

But that’s the thing. It’s impossible to be sure.​</snip>


​​Damian Garde for Stat News -- What does Donald Trump’s win mean for
science and medicine?


<snip>4. Who’s going to run Health and Human Services?

The coming weeks will be consumed by speculation about the makeup of a
Trump cabinet, which is reportedly going to be heavy on private-sector
membership. Of key importance to the world of science and medicine is
Health and Human Services, which presides over the FDA, the NIH, the CDC,
and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, among other agencies.

Dr. Ben Carson — who has assailed the Affordable Care Act, called for the
overturning of Roe v. Wade, and disputed the theory of evolution — is an
oft-cited candidate. So, too, is Gingrich, a friend of the drug industry
who has also crusaded for broader research into Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Also mentioned is Rich Bagger, a longtime biopharma exec who took a leave
of absence from his role at biotech giant Celgene to serve as executive
director of the Trump transition team under his friend New Jersey Governor
Chris Christie.

​HHS departments like the FDA and NIH have long been considered essentially
apolitical. But partisan fighting over drug prices and scientific
appropriations could thrust those agencies into an uncomfortable spotlight.
And whoever Trump picks to take over for current HHS Secretary Sylvia
Mathews Burwell will play a key role in shaping science and medicine policy.

5. And what about drug pricing?

Biopharma stocks rallied on Tuesday morning because Trump is widely
perceived to be less hawkish on the issue of drug prices than his opponent.
Equities research firm Evercore ISI surveyed its investor clients and found
that 80 percent expect major pricing reform to be effectively off the table
in a Trump presidency.

But that assumes the sort of business-as-usual Republican administration
that values free markets and shies away from imposing new regulations on
industry. Trump rides into office with a populist message that might make
dyed-in-the-wool fiscal conservatives nervous, and parsing his admittedly
sparse statements on the issue paints a murkier picture for the drug
industry. He has called for Medicare to be able to negotiate directly with
drug companies on price and has argued for allowing drugs to be imported
from other countries, two ideas well outside Republican dogma.

For now, which way he goes is anyone’s guess.​</snip>


John Carroll for Endpoints News -- Biopharma shares rally as Donald Trump
scores a stunning upset


​<snip>The Nasdaq biotech index surged more than 5% this morning,
indicating that investors are glad to see the threat of more aggressive
federal initiatives disappear with Trump’s election. And the pharma giants
got a boost as well, with surging stock prices for Roche, Sanofi and
Pfizer, up a whopping 7% in premarket trading.

“Trump doesn’t have big health-care plans,” Christophe Eggmann, a fund
manager at GAM Holding AG in Zurich, told Bloomberg Wednesday. “The only
thing he was talking about was repealing Obamacare. But all the proposals
from Hillary Clinton that could have affected drug pricing and companies —
this is not going to happen.”​</snip>


Margot Sanger-Katz for The New York Times -- The Future of Obamacare Looks


​<snip>Republicans in Congress have been calling for the repeal of
Obamacare since it passed in 2010. With control of both houses of Congress
and the presidency, they may finally get their chance to undo huge,
consequential parts of the health law next year.

If they succeed, about 22 million fewer Americans would have health
insurance, according to an estimate from the nonpartisan Congressional
Budget Office.​</snip>


​Max Nisen for Bloomberg -- Biopharma's Trump Party Is a Little Too Raucous​


​There are reasons for the industry to cheer this result, which probably
means less risk of drug-price regulation -- a focus of the Clinton campaign
-- and the failure of California's drug-price reform proposition.But
nothing has happened to shift the structural difficulties facing the
industry. And so much uncertainty remains about what a Trump administration
means for the economy that the celebrations should be toned down a bit.​

Zack Struver, Communications and Research Associate
Knowledge Ecology International
zack.struver at keionline.org
Twitter: @zstruver <https://twitter.com/zstruver>
Office: +1 (202) 332-2670 Cell: +1 (914) 582-1428

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