Offbeat Trump lays out his plan to tackle high drug prices

22:16  11 may  2018
22:16  11 may  2018 Source:   businessinsider.com

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The Trump administration also came out with a 44-page report titled "American Patients First" detailing how it plans to approach drug pricing . Azar said in his speech Friday that drug pricing was the first and the last thing Trump brings up in conversations with him.

President Trump lays out plan to lower drug prices 2:55 PM ET Fri, 11 May 2018 | 03:14. "Because right now, every incentive is for the drug company to have a very high list price and to Express Scripts and CVS Health, both PBMs, praised Trump 's efforts to tackle prescription drug costs.

President Donald Trump spoke Friday about lowering drug prices, calling out middlemen in the pharmaceutical industry and "freeloading" by other countries that pay less than the US for prescription drugs. 

Trump focused on finding ways to increase competition, get more negotiating power, and finding ways to lower pharmaceutical list prices as well as the out-of-pocket costs patients are facing according to senior administration officials familiar with the speech. 

He also went after other countries that pay less than the US for drugs.

"It’s unfair, it’s ridiculous, and it’s not going to happen any longer. It's time to end the global freeloading once and for all," Trump said. 

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The world's highest drug costs. Trump also lashed out at foreign governments that "extort unreasonably low prices " from manufacturers. Industry and consumer groups largely supported the president's efforts to tackle drug costs.

President Trump has the power to sink pharmaceutical stocks with a single jab about high drug prices . Yet Mr. Trump won some praise for having taken a stab at tackling such a complex and vitally important issue to many Americans.

The Trump administration also came out with a 44-page report titled "American Patients First" detailing how it plans to approach drug pricing.

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar suggested that prices get added to drug advertisements.

"If we want to have a free market for drugs, why not have them disclose their prices in ads too?" Azar said. He said it's something he'll task the FDA to investigate. 

Part of the plan also includes budget proposals that would make changes to how drugs are paid for under Medicare, which insures Americans who are 65 and older.  

In particular, Trump plans to introduce Medicare reforms that include: 

  • More flexibility to improve pricing negotiations. The government currently can't negotiate prices for drugs that are part of Medicare's Part D program, which covers most prescription drugs
  • Giving free generics to seniors. 
  • Mandating that plans pass along rebates to patients. 
  • Creating an out-of-pocket maximum so that seniors aren't on the hook for high prices. 

Trump has said drugmakers are "getting away with murder" and has expressed an interest in negotiating drug prices, something the government isn't allowed to do for Medicare and Medicaid.

Later in January, Trump met with the heads of pharma companies and reiterated his interest in bringing drug prices down in the US.

In 2018, the president has been relatively quiet about the price of prescription drugs, though top officials in his administration have called out different parts of the healthcare industry. Azar noted in his speech Friday that drug pricing is the first and last thing the president brings up in conversations with the health secretary. 

Trump wishes Americans a happy Mother's Day .
President Trump wished Americans a happy Mother's Day in a video message on Sunday. In the 80-second video, the president spoke about his own mother, as well as the mothers throughout U.S. history whose "love and courage and devotion" he said have helped shape the nation.Happy Mother’s Day!!! pic.twitter.com/zw71dnT7TJ— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2018"America's strength has come from the love and courage and devotion of our mothers," he said. "Through their grit, determination and incredible spirit, they pioneered the West and settled the frontier.

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