Takeaways From Trump's Plans to Try to Lower Drug Prices

Takeaways From Trump's Plans to Try to Lower Drug Prices”

But the President's blueprint hinted at further action the government could take, mentioning reexamination of how drug rebates are now treated under safe harbor laws as a future "opportunity". But it does not include his campaign pledge to use the massive buying power of the government's Medicare program to directly negotiate lower prices for seniors. Several options are "requests for information".

"We will have tougher negotiation, more competition, and much lower prices at the pharmacy counter", Trump said in a Rose Garden speech.

A majority of Americans say passing laws to bring down prescription drug prices should be a "top priority" for Trump and Congress, according to recent polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The plan recommends bolstering competition, allowing private plans to negotiate discounts for Medicare beneficiaries, creating incentives to lower list prices and reducing consumers' out-of-pocket spending.

The plan went on to float some "even bolder actions" that the Department of Health and Human Services said it is reviewing and seeking feedback on.

US patients spent almost $329 billion on prescription drugs in 2016, according to the National Health Expenditures Survey.

Vaidya said drug prices are lower in other countries with government-run health care because they set limits on prices.

The drug industry's top lobbying arm, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, spent almost $26 million to sway federal decision makers past year, according to records tallied by the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics.

The administration official said that in addition to building from ideas in Trump's budget, the blueprint would outline four strategies - most of which could be achieved without new legislation. And it would require prescription drug plans for Medicare patients to pass on some of the discounts and rebates they receive from pharmaceutical companies. Aetna and UnitedHealth, for example, have said they will make similar changes to some plans they offer employers. "Will the fact that the specifics of the plan don't seem to deliver on that tough talk ultimately matter?" The senator told The Advocate after Friday's White House announcement that he's waiting to see how extensive the new Trump administration efforts will be before deciding what needs to be pressed in Congress.

"What other countries do is what the Veterans Administration here does", said David Blumenthal, president of the Commonwealth Fund.

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"This is a major restructuring of a huge portion of the US economy". "This is not a one and done", he said.

Maumee Senior, Pam Morbeck says the rising price of prescription drugs is a challenge for her and her husband. The administration has also for months been vetting the idea of providing the rebates negotiated on drug prices to seniors at the pharmacy counter.

He added, "declaring that US drug prices are high but that other countries should pay the same high price is probably the least useful thing from the [president's] whole proposal".

Trump considered that this situation was "unacceptable", claiming that "it's not going to happen any longer".

"This is progress and I think there's no question that opening up the machine to make it more clear how it works will lead to change - hopefully to constructive change", said Dr. Peter Bach, director of Memorial Sloan Kettering's Center for Health Policy and Outcomes. "They're priced out of reach everywhere because pharmaceutical corporations are charging exorbitant prices simply because they can-and the USA government lets them".

Pharma industry, in the worst case scenario, had expected federal government to directly negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare and allow import of prescription drugs by patients from overseas. That's a change from his rhetoric during his campaign and transition. And if you look at the same exact drug by the same exact company, made in the same exact box and sold someplace else, sometimes it's a fraction of what we pay in this country - meaning, as usual, the world is taking advantage of the United States. "We're going to start bidding and we're going to save billions of dollars over a period of time". PBMs argue that rebates are the most powerful mechanism to lower drug prices and produce valuable savings.

The U.S. spent $1,162 per person on prescription drugs in 2015, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Medicare is the largest purchaser of prescription drugs in the nation, covering 60 million seniors and Americans with disabilities, but it is barred by law from directly negotiating lower prices with drugmakers. "However, it is really disturbing that the blueprint released today does not address the Medicare sequester cut to drug payments that is fueling higher costs and cancer drug prices". "In fact, the CBO said that in certain circumstances, with the right formulary, this type of negotiation could help".

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