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Trump assails drugmakers for high prices

12 May, 2018, 20:41 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Trump Drug Speech Will Propose More Competition to Lower Costs

"We need to bring the tools available to the private sector to Part D plans so they can negotiate better deals".

"When foreign governments extort unreasonably low prices from U.S. drug makers, Americans have to pay more to subsidize the enormous cost of research and development", Trump said.

"It's unfair, it's ridiculous and it's not going to happen any longer", Trump said Friday in the Rose Garden. The American people deserve a health care system that takes care of them, not one that taxes and takes advantage of our patients, and our consumers, and our citizens. Site neutrality rules could also eliminate differences in inpatient and outpatient Medicare payment policies for drugs.

Speeding up approvals of over-the-counter drugs "so that patients can get more medicines without prescriptions". "Instead, all we are getting is more broken promises and cheap talk while drug prices continue to skyrocket". The industry has touted the slower growth as it weathers public backlash.

Pharmacy benefit managers are getting compensated by both drug makers and insurers. The US president condemned middlemen i.e. pharmacy benefit managers for their role in high drug prices and dropped popular and populist proposals made during his election campaign.

Biotechnology Innovation Organization President and CEO Jim Greenwood said that his group - a representative of companies that have some of the most to lose from deep systemic reform - looked forward to working with the administration, though harbored "concerns that some of the ideas proposed today could, if adopted, hurt patient access to the medicines" and the development of future cures and treatments. "They won't be so rich anymore".

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar previewed some of the administration's priorities in a speech before the American Hospital Association on Wednesday, saying the agency is focused on several problems in the drug industry.

- A potential requirement for drugmakers to disclose the cost of their medicines in television advertisements.

The result, in part, is the highest drug prices in the world. The U.S.is the only country, other than New Zealand, that allows drug companies to advertise directly to consumers.

Last fall, a major report by the National Academy of Sciences recommended a slate of aggressive steps, including government intervention to negotiate lower prices for American patients, limits on prescription drug advertising and new efforts to determine the "value" of drugs by assessing how well they work relative to how much they cost.

David Hyman, a professor at the Georgetown Law Center, called the HHS document "an extensive and impressive list", suggesting that the administration is taking the issue of high drugs prices "very seriously".

"CVS Health also provides patients with information on what they will pay out-of-pocket under their insurance plan for their prescription drugs and can also provide therapeutic alternatives that may be less expensive".

But America's Health Insurance Plans expressed concern about the proposal to pass manufacturer rebates to consumers. Americans are seeking relief from ever-rising prescription costs.

"Let's be really clear, the administration has put out a number of different sets of proposals under the heading of: Things that would address drug pricing". "Physicians see the impact of skyrocketing prices every day as patients are often unable to afford the most medically appropriate medications - even those that have effectively controlled their medical condition for years". Chuck Schumer of NY, the Democratic leader, said after the speech.

During his presidential campaign, Trump called for the government to use its clout to negotiate Medicare drug prices, but senior administration officials said he would not call for that change - which is stridently opposed by drug companies. Some states negotiate supplemental discounts for certain drugs.

Medicare spends more than $100 billion on drugs through the Part B outpatient and Part D drug programs. But the president has offered nothing but "radio silence" since then, Cummings said Thursday.

The strategy will be outlined in a speech Friday.

Trump did call for improving Medicare's negotiating powers.

"CVS Health is already well positioned to implement numerous key proposals outlined by the Administration".

The plan also would give private health insurers that run Medicare plans more negotiating power with drugmakers.

But top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said it was "the height of absurdity" for Trump to blame foreign countries for exorbitant U.S. prices.

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