Trump's plan to lower drug prices

12 May, 2018, 04:28 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Trump unveils prescription drugs plan

But under this administration, we are putting American patients first. "It clearly does not meet what President Trump said he was going to do when he was elected".

Among the strategies the White House is pursuing to drive competition include advancing biosimilars and generic drugs, including prices on drugmakers' advertising, increasing transparency through the Medicare drug-pricing dashboard and eliminating "gag rules" that prevent pharmacists from advising patients on how they can pay less out of pocket.

- Reconsidering how Medicare pays for some high-priced drugs administered at doctors' offices.

Drugmakers generally can charge as much as the market will bear because the United States government doesn't regulate medicine prices, unlike most other countries.

Trump called his plan the "most sweeping action in history to lower the price of prescription drugs for the American people" in remarks in the White House's Rose Garden.

"America will not be cheated any longer, and especially will not be cheated by foreign countries", Trump said Friday in a Rose Garden address.

Trump unveils prescription drugs plan
Trump announces push to drop drug prices

"We welcome a broad look across the entire drug supply to chain find ways to help drive down drug prices", Nancy LeaMond, an AARP executive, said in the statement.

AHIP argued in a blog post two days ago that, in many cases, drug companies use rebates to encourage patients to ignore the underlying cost of drugs and use more expensive versions of the drugs.

Democrats blasted the speech, saying that Trump is turning his back on his campaign promise to stop the pharmaceutical industry from "getting away with murder". But as president he has shied away from major changes and has staffed his administration with appointees who have deep ties to the industry.

"Real reforms that advocates say will move the needle, none of them are included".

Trump administration officials have hinted for weeks that the plan, in part, will untangle the convoluted system of discounts and rebates between drugmakers and insurers, pharmacy benefit managers and other health care middlemen.

But he also noted what was not in the proposal: "You don't see re-importation of branded drugs, direct negotiation or a ban on rebates within the PBM market, though there are efforts to make them more transparent and improve the integrity of the process", he said.

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Give Medicare Part D drug plan issuers more benefits design flexibility.

"It took decades to erect this very complex, interwoven system", Azar said in a briefing following the speech.

Public outrage over drug costs has been growing for years as Americans face pricing pressure from all sides: New medicines for life-threatening diseases often launch with prices exceeding $100,000 per year.

Many researchers say the biggest reason behind the rising spending is high prices for prescription drugs. Our prescription drug pricing system is broken, and a hodgepodge of the regulatory changes the President has in mind will do little to bring down the costs of prescription medicines.

Speaking in Washington on Friday, he said he had directed his top trade negotiator to make the issue a priority in trade talks.

Drugmakers generally can charge as much as the market will bear because the US government doesn't regulate medicine prices, unlike most other countries.

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"It's hard to know why Germany or France or Australia would agree to something like that", said Professor Jack Hoadley of Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute.

"Instead of standing up to the power of the drug companies, who have spent almost $4 billion on lobbying and campaign contributions since 1998, Trump has become a cheerleader for them".

Once it was clear direct negotiation wasn't on the agenda, investors snapped up shares of the biggest US drug makers, including Abbvie (ABBV - Free Report), Amgen (AMGN - Free Report) and Merck (MRK - Free Report), each of which finished the day 2% or more above their mid-speech lows. The annual total was a record for the group.

Some in the pharmaceutical industry are concerned the proposals may end up restricting consumer access to certain treatments.

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