SUMMARY: With much attention on the public’s view on Medicare drug price negotiations, the latest KFF Tracking Poll finds large majorities support allowing the federal government to negotiate, and this support holds steady even after the public is provided the arguments being presented by parties on both sides of the legislative debate (83% total, 95% of Democrats, 82% of independents, and 71% of Republicans).

SUMMARY: (Times) The financial windfall at Moderna, the biotech company behind one of the three federally cleared Covid-19 vaccines, has propelled three new names onto Forbes magazine’s list of the 400 wealthiest people in the United States. However, it’s the NIH’s vaccine. It is not merely Moderna’s vaccine. Federal scientists helped invent it, and taxpayers are funding its development.

SUMMARY: Via Axios – The antiviral pill that showed promising results against severe COVID-19 was initially developed at Emory University with $35 million of taxpayer grants. And while it costs $17.74 to produce, according to a report issued last week by drug pricing experts at the Harvard School of Public Health and King’s College Hospital in London. Merck charges the U.S. government $712 for the same amount of medicine or 40 times the price.

SUMMARY: Americans spend twice as much per capita on drugs as residents of other wealthy nations, because ours is the only country that lets drugmakers set any price they want for their products. Seventy-nine percent of Americans think the price of prescription drugs is “unreasonable,” according to a 2019 Kaiser Family Foundation poll, and about 9 in 10 say they support the idea of the government negotiating prices.