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As the year winds down, STAT reporters are taking a look at the stories they’re most eager to track in 2018. Find all our “three to watch” series here

The pharmaceutical industry may be flush with cash and generating some genuine breakthrough treatments, but drug makers will remain embattled in the coming year.

Pharma’s perpetual race for profits and reliance on the U.S. as its biggest customer are certain to cause tensions as Americans struggle with pocketbook anxiety over high drug prices. Similarly, various moves to fend off competition will continue to generate scrutiny. And you can be certain industry hiring and investment will be closely tracked now that drug makers are getting a windfall from the new tax bill.

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