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Politics The White House botched a deal to lower prescription prices because drug companies wouldn't budge on its request to pay for $100 gift cards that would've been mailed to seniors before the election

04:31  19 september  2020
04:31  19 september  2020 Source:   businessinsider.com

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  • The Trump administration botched a deal with drug companies to lower the price of prescription medications because it wanted the industry to pay for $100 gift cards that would have been sent to seniors before the November elections, The New York Times reported on Friday.
  • The proposed $150 billion deal would have addressed out-of-pocket consumer costs and covered the majority of the Medicare copayments that seniors pay for prescription drugs.
  • In a statement to Business Insider, a White House spokesperson said negotiations with the pharmaceutical industry "did not produce an acceptable alternative," and suggested President Donald Trump would pursue executive action on drug prices.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump's administration almost reached a deal with drug companies that would have lowered drug prices, but it fell apart when the White House asked drug companies to pay for $100 gift cards that would have been mailed to seniors before the November election, The New York Times reported on Friday.

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The proposed $150 billion deal would have addressed out-of-pocket consumer costs and covered the majority of the Medicare copayments that seniors pay for prescription drugs.

The matter of those $100 gift cards the Trump administration requested gave some drug company executives a reason to pause, The Times reported.

"We could not agree to the administration's plan to issue one-time savings cards right before a presidential election," Priscilla VanderVeer, the vice-president of public affairs at PhRMA, the industry's largest trade group told the Times. "One-time savings cards will neither provide lasting help nor advance the fundamental reforms necessary to help seniors better afford their medicines."

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The proposal to send out the gift cards comes as Trump loses support among seniors. Citizens aged 65 and older will represent 23% of registered voters in the upcoming election. NBC News reported in June that voters over 65 helped Trump win the 2016 election, but his support among the demographic is shrinking.

Several polls have shown democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden enjoys more support from that demographic than Trump.

On Sunday, Trump signed an executive order that he said would lower prescription drug prices, but experts said it was not likely to do much, NPR reported.

Trump introduced another executive order on the same issue, two months prior that was held back so he could negotiate a better deal with drug companies.

"If these talks are successful, we may not need to implement the fourth executive order, which is a very tough order for them," Trump said at the time.

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In a statement to Business Insider on Friday, a White House spokesperson said negotiations with the pharmaceutical industry "did not produce an acceptable alternative," and suggested Trump would pursue executive action on drug prices.

According to The Times' report, the White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told drug company officials that if they couldn't agree on a deal, he would tell the news media that the two sides came close until "PhRMA walked away because of dissent within the industry over sharing costs," The Times reported.

Industry officials told the Times that despite not every company being happy about lowering costs, they agreed to that part of the deal until the idea of $100 gift cards was brought forward.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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A group tied to the Republican Party’s top state-level political outfit has done something almost unheard of this close of a presidential election: they’ve taken out an ad attacking a key policy plank of their own party’s president. The ad doesn’t mention Donald Trump by name. But the target is clear: a new drug price proposal that the president has made a cornerstone of his pitch to eldely voters. So too is the sponsor’s allegiance. In airing the spot, the State Government Leadership Foundation doesn’t hide the fact that they’ve taken the side of a top pharmaceutical trade group—one that happens to have given their network millions of dollars in support—in its dispute with

usr: 3
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