Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Medical | By Marta Holmes

Trump promises lower drug prices, but drops populist solutions

Trump promises lower drug prices, but drops populist solutions

One of the objectives of the plan is to reduce the prices by encouraging more robust price competition.

In a statement, Congressman Richard Neal said, "It is encouraging to see the President of the United States use the power of his office to begin a national dialogue on this issue, but far more must be done than what President Trump outlined today".

That idea has always been supported by Democrats but is a non-starter for drugmakers and most Republicans in Congress.

Lloyd Doggett, the Democratic rep from Texas dismissed Trump's speech as a sugar-coated nothing pill. "You can't improve competition and choice in our drug markets with gimmicks like these - you have to boost competition and price transparency".

On Friday, Democrats leaped on the lack of Medicare negotiation as an example of a broken promise on drug prices and called the plan a win for drug companies. "At the same time, it is not clear at all how they are going to lower list prices".

GSP is program to encourage economic development by offering poor countries a patchwork framework to export tariff-free into the US market.

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A potential requirement for drugmakers to disclose the cost of their medicines in television advertisements. "This is the boldest approach to the drug channel and drug pricing and drug affordability in history".

Reconsidering how Medicare pays for some high-priced drugs administered at doctors' offices. "He is exhausted of the government getting bad deals on the drugs seniors need, and I couldn't agree more".

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), which represents PBMs, was largely supportive of Trump's blueprint, but argued its members aren't to blame for high prices. Drugmaker shares rose for a second day on Monday as Wall Street analysts said the new policies should not hurt industry profits. The blueprint includes many reforms that are favorable to these companies. "Trump chose the incremental over the disruptive".

Instead, the administration would seek to allow private sector payers to negotiate the price of those medicines, as they do in Medicare Part D, which covers drugs that patients pick up at the pharmacy. Other parts could be implemented directly by the administration.

Unsurprisingly, Trump's plan faced a backlash from the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). But as president he has shied away from major changes and has staffed his administration with appointees who have deep ties to the industry.

Trump, in a speech at the White House on Friday, said the result of his actions will be "tougher negotiation, more competition and much lower prices at the pharmacy counter". This also gives manufactures the incentive to raise prices and gives providers the incentive to select more expensive medicines. Officials said Thursday they would get "government rules out of the way that are preventing seniors from getting better deals". "I can tell you I wouldn't have wanted to be the one to do that", he said. Pharmaceutical ads will also be expected to list out the cost of their drugs in future.

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Sanders criticized Trump's reference to overseas drug prices.

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

"This is not doing anything to fundamentally change the drug supply chain or the drug pricing system", said Gerard Anderson, a health policy professor at Johns Hopkins University.

Trump also blasted the pharmaceutical and insurance industries for spending hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbying to "protect the status quo". The annual total was the group's highest since the 2009 congressional fight that led to Obamacare.

Nevertheless, the U.S. pharma lobby group PhRMA said the proposals were a mixed bag.

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