Pharma breathes easy as Trump's drug pricing plan fizzles

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The biggest fear was that the new plan would include provisions for Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies on price. The policy blueprint also calls for giving health plans flexibility to negotiate lower prices for high-cost drugs without competition.

Fox News Radio's Guy Benson spoke to Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) earlier who says Trump "laid out a way to take power away from special interests-protecting innovation, but not protecting drug monopolies".

On the competition front, some of the highlights include plans for immediate steps to prevent drug manufacturers from gaming regulatory processes, such as using risk evaluation and management strategies, and to look for ways to encourage sharing of samples needed for generic drug development. The rule should be that only those drugs that haven't increased their list price for 18 months get to be in a protected class.

The statement, which was as recently as last week the subject of a panel discussion at Asembia 2018, focused largely on bringing "drug prices under control".

President Donald Trump, took on a campaign promise Friday, to lower the price of prescription drugs.

"Today's proposal is an empty gesture that will not meaningfully reduce the cost of prescription drugs for everyday families", said Rep.

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

Rebates do nothing to stop drug companies from increasing the underlying prices of the drugs, AHIP said.


But Express Scripts Inc., a St. Louis-based PBM that's being acquired by Cigna Corp., praised the administration's proposals.

As a candidate, Trump railed against the pharmaceutical industry, accusing companies of "getting away with murder". Medicare Part D drug spending grew almost 45% between 2013 and 2016, and more beneficiaries are reaching catastrophic coverage of at least $5,000 out-of-pocket costs-up 50% from 2013 to 2016, according to a new study from Avalere.

"It's unfair and it's ridiculous and it's not going to happen any longer", he added, indicating that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would be calling on America's trading partners to insist they pay more for prescription drugs. "You mean the guy who just gave drug companies a massive tax cut and then appointed a drug CEO as HHS secretary and has spent his entire time as president favoring the rich and powerful, that guy wasn't genuine about lowering drug prices?" Roughly 30% of the dollar value of prescriptions filled in the U.S.is paid for by Medicare, making the USA government the single biggest customer for pharmaceuticals by a wide margin.

But This Might Be About Politics More Than Results: "The president's tough talk on drug prices will no doubt be popular with the public".

Trump's speech singled out foreign governments that "extort unreasonably low prices from US drugmakers" using price controls and said USA trade representatives would prioritize the issue in trade deals. The blueprint charts a different path than Trump's initial policy goals touted during his presidential campaign, when he promised to authorize Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies and import drugs from foreign countries, ideas that have drawn criticism from pharmaceutical companies and industry groups.

But experts are skeptical the US can pressure foreign governments to pay more for drugs.

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

But it disagrees with the rebate policy.

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