Trump sells out to the drug companies, according to Trump
Trump sells out to the drug companies, according to Trump
President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable discussion on tax reform at the Cleveland Public Auditorium in Cleveland Thomson Reuters
11 May, 2018, 22:30
President Donald Trump is set to unveil his long-awaited plan for reducing drug prices after more than a year of bold promises to tackle pharmacy costs that are squeezing millions of Americans.
In February, the White House released a white paperproposing policies to lower high prescription drug prices, an idea Trump had campaigned on. "Because of the drug companies".
"America will remain the innovative pharmaceutical center of the world, but our patients are going to get more affordable drugs and our taxpayers are going to get better deals under the president's initiative", he told FOX Business' Charles Payne during an interview on Friday.
The populist rhetoric appears to be giving way to a more nuanced strategy focused on making the pharmaceutical market more open and competitive, with the aim of lowering costs for consumers.
Mr. Trump is also expected to target pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), who negotiate drug discounts and rebates from pharmacies and manufacturers on behalf of commercial health plans and self-insured employers.
When you inflate drug prices it gives benefit managers a chance to take a slice of a bigger discount for themselves, while also adding to out-of-pocket expenses.
Medicare Part D, which provide prescription drug coverage for seniors, was enacted under President George W. Bush. However, some Administration officials have suggested tomorrow's proposals could go beyond these ideas and that "every ox will be gored".
The Department of Health & Human Services will take "a range of immediate actions" to implement the blueprint, according to a fact sheet provided by the White House on Thursday.
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It's uncertain how a full throated roar against "socialist" drug pricing policies will do anything to cut U.S. prices - or if raising prices overseas would even help achieve the administration's goal of lowering outlays for drugs here.
Some of the administration's efforts will seek to lower what consumers or the federal government pay at the pharmacy or to a provider, which some policy experts argue does little to affect the source of the problem: the high list prices of medications.
Most other developed nations pay far less for brand-name drugs than the United States does, which has led to claims that Americans are subsidizing medical costs for the rest of the world.
Meanwhile, the Food & Drug Administration is focusing on reducing prices by increasing competition from generic drugs and so-called biosimilars, which are almost identical to super-expensive biologic medicines.
In a speech last week, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb proposed re-examining a safe harbor in anti-kickback laws for rebates drugmakers negotiate with insurers and pharmacy-benefit managers.
Pharma has also pointed a finger at insurers for increasingly forcing patients to shoulder more of the cost of drugs through rising co-pays and deductibles.
A majority of Americans say bringing down prescription drug prices should be a "top priority" for Trump and Congress, according to recent polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation. And they've been quick to point out that Mr. Trump's health secretary - Mr. Azar - is a former pharmaceutical executive.
Both of them have been engaging in the war of words during public rallies in the view of upcoming assembly elections in the state. Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr Gandhi asked that why are fuel prices not being reduced.
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