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Trump Administration & the Lowering of Drug Prices

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Since the outset of his administration, President Trump has been pushing the issue of lowering the high cost of prescription drugs. Last week the president signed four executive orders designed to lower those prices.

The executive order will push states toward developing plans to import prescription drugs from Canada. They’re often much more affordable for U.S. citizens. He also wants to do away with the drug discount system — or rebates — and simplify the entire system. Trump’s orders also wants EpiPens and insulin to be more affordable to patients of community health centers.

The fourth order — which won’t go into effect until August 25th to give pharmaceutical CEOs time to propose an alternative — will require that Medicare patients be able to pay the same cost for drugs that people and patients in other countries pay for them.

In announcing the executive orders, Trump said it “will lead to massive reduction in drug costs. This is just a big day. I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time.”

On the fourth order, Trump said, “If these talks [with pharmaceutical CEOS] are successful we may not need to implement the 4th executive order.”

It’s doubtful — however — that an agreement can be reached. Steve Ubl is the CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. He said, “In the middle of a global pandemic, when nearly 145,000 Americans have lost their lives and millions of others have suffered untold economic hardships, this administration has decided to pursue a radical and dangerous policy to set prices based on rates paid in countries that he has labeled as socialist, which will harm patients today and into the future.”

Democrats agree and contend the orders are pure political posturing and say they won’t actually take effect and save consumers money. However, it also has to be noted that Trump ordered pharmaceutical companies to post the cost of their drugs on those very glitzy TV commercials we see about them.

The companies took the administration to court and the order was blocked.

Several Republicans are also opposed to Trump’s move. Texas Republican Rep. Kevin Brady is on the House Ways and Means Committee. He said there is a much better bill brewing in the House. “

We believe this is a better approach to achieve the President’s goal than importing foreign price controls that slow down the development of new medical cures,” Brady said.

Just exactly how all this can be finalized and take effect is anybody’s guess. There are limits to what the president can do via executive order. At this point, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) gets the orders and will start the formal rulemaking process.

On the topic of prescription drugs, A poll taken late last month by West Health and Gallup finds that 88% of us think the pharmaceutical industry will use the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to raise prices.

    * 88% of us are worried
    * 55% of us are very concerned
 * 33% of us are somewhat concerned

That worry is spread out a bit more when it comes to party lines:

    * 66% of Democrats are very concerned
    * That compares to 49% of Republicans and 52% of independents

Source links: The Hill — link 1, link 2

Tags:  Medicare drug prices  pharmaceutical objection to drug price control  Trump administration prescription drug prices  Trump four executive orders drug prices 

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