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Donald Trump declared victory in his long-running campaign to stop the pharmaceuticals industry “getting away with murder”, after Pfizer reversed its plan to raise prices on 100 products last month. But while pledges by large drugmakers to control their prices look like a win for the US president, most of their promises are political sops designed to ward off meaningful reforms, warns David Crow in a column.

It would be a shame if Mr Trump thinks he has won this battle, David notes, because sky-high drug prices are one reason that the US spends more per capita on healthcare than any other developed nation, but has much worse outcomes. What is needed is a health secretary who is brave enough to take action and implement a policy Mr Trump once supported — allowing the government to directly negotiate drug prices against the industry and use its immense bargaining power to secure a better deal for the American people.

A new kind of Republican
The election of Donald Trump was not the trigger for the decline of small-government Republicanism, writes Janan Ganesh. But it has highlighted the fact that the GOP needs to embrace a new kind of conservatism. Party donors like the Koch brothers may still encourage state-pruning zeal, but the ideological trend among voters is away from them and towards Mr Trump.

Abnormal times
Despite what the hawks say, the Bank of England should be hesitant about raising interest rates, advises Patience Wheatcroft. A combination of uncertainty over Brexit, a sluggish UK economy and low productivity means rate-setters should tread lightly.

Zimbabwe’s future
David Pilling reflects on the prospects of a country on the cusp of rejoining the international community — if the international community can be convinced this week’s elections have been free and fair.

Britain’s phony war
Roula Khalaf remembers stockpiling food in Beirut, when cupboards were packed with tins and dried goods, during a civil war. But returning to the UK from a trip to Lebanon, she was bewildered to find the country stockpiling against a different type of conflict, one caused by political feuds that have driven a nation to the brink of self-destruction.

What you’ve been saying

China is more likely to lend to Pakistan— letter from Mark M Spradley

Imran Khan will have to hit a century before lunch to secure $12bn from the International Monetary Fund. Otherwise, the most attractive offer will come from China. Beijing appears poised to offer more favourable loan terms to maintain its position as the most influential lender in Pakistan. By all accounts, additional debt service will be a heavy burden for Pakistan, but you never know how the ball will bounce on a sticky wicket.

Comment from Jean T Alouette on Stockpiling food for a no-deal Brexit? Really?

I think that stockpiling is deep down part of the British psyche — I think we in some ways want to return to the second world war. Hunkering down in the tube tunnels, the blackout, Anderson shelters and of course food rationing. Why else would a government propose this and the entire country not collectively yell “STOP!”?

Try looking at the future through my children’s eyes— letter from Sheila Hayman

Philip Stephens wonders why people are taking refuge in the past, and seems to believe this is a sentimental reflex uninformed by concrete circumstances. Perhaps he needs to look at the future through the eyes of my children, aged 18 and 21. The city where they’ve lived all their lives has been sold over their heads to non-resident oligarchs, so they have no hope of affording a home; and their hope of establishing a career when they graduate has been confused by repeated warnings that “the jobs of the future haven’t been invented yet”. Add runaway climate change, insane leaders all round the world and a domestic situation that looks like Armageddon rewritten as farce. I’m sure they would be delighted if Mr Stephens could reassure them that the future is just as bright as it seemed for us when we were young.

Today’s opinion

After Donald Trump, the GOP must accept a new kind of Republicanism
The party can retrench or learn to helm, not dismantle, an interventionist state

UK rate rises would be premature in a time of uncertainty
A combination of Brexit and a sluggish economy may deter the Bank of England

A few ideas for fixing GDP

Zimbabwe is at a historic fork in the road
Reintegration in the international community depends on the election being fair

Trump’s threats to Iran are a distraction from a clearer danger
A new regional conflict could spin out of the vortex of the Syrian civil war

Stockpiling food for a no-deal Brexit? Really?
It turns out the UK is not even prepared for the preparations to leave the EU

Trump is losing the war on drug prices
The US needs a health secretary with the mettle to enact painful industry reforms

FT View

The FT View: Pakistan puts a spotlight on China’s opaque loans
Washington has a point: the IMF should not rescue Chinese lenders

The FT View: Faangs’ growing pains should not cause alarm
Pressures are mounting, but big tech business models remain sound

The Big Read

The Big Read: The big flaw: auditing in crisis
FT series: with a cabal of auditors dominating the market and chiefs making most of the system of ‘fair value’, what can the industry do to raise standards?

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