Trump drug price plan soothes industry

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Although it's unclear how the Trump administration will achieve this goal, one idea is to publish a comparison of drug prices in the USA and other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries to expose the differences.

The stocks of major drug companies and pharmacy benefits managers rose immediately following the speech. Inc. rose by 2.3% by the end of the trading day.

One newer idea outlined by Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary Alex Azar is to promote drug price competition by requiring drug marketers to include pricing information in DTC broadcast ads. In his speech, Trump also mentioned ending "dishonest double-dealing" where PBMs don't pass on rebates meant for patients.

Azar noted that numerous Blueprint proposals can be accomplished through executive action, but that change may take some time if new rulemaking is required. Meanwhile Americans are paying more at the pharmacy counter due to health insurance plans that require them to shoulder more of their prescription costs. In the first three months of this year, the industry has already spent almost $10 million for lobbying.

Many health policy experts and consumer advocates say that the federal government could use its heft to negotiate much lower prices for the more than 57 million Americans in the Medicare program, rather than having insurers that provide Medicare Part D prescription coverage wring discounts from manufacturers. Recent reports also showed that Swiss drug maker Novartis paid former Trump attorney Michael Cohen $1.2 million in "consulting" fees in 2017.

'We are going to take on one of the biggest obstacles to affordable medicine - the tangled web of special interest, ' he declared.

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After the pharma rally on Friday afternoon, the Trump administration still seems set on illustrating its get-tough approach to reining in drug prices in the United States, which far outstrip the prices allowed in any other industrialized nation. And they propose to appoint a "price gouging" czar with authority to fine drug companies for raising prices beyond certain limits.

Chad Landmon, an attorney who chairs law firm Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider's intellectual property and FDA practice groups, told FierceHealthcare that the pharmaceutical industry was holding its breath when talk of a drug pricing plan began.

America has the highest drug prices in the world.

In fact, Trump said he has directed U.S. trade representative Bob Lighthizer to make it a top priority to end 'the global freeloading once and for all.' These reforms 'are just the beginning, ' according to Trump.

The Hill's Peter Sullivan noted on Twitter that CVS Health didn't express negativity either: "Nothing critical in PBM CVS Health's statement: "Policy solutions that lower drug prices for consumers and reduce out-of-pocket costs are aligned with CVS Health's business model and would not be expected to have a negative impact on profitability".

"We're also increasing competition and reducing regulatory burdens, so drugs can be gotten to the market quicker and cheaper", President Donald Trump said Friday.

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Mr. Trump also compared the difference in pharmaceutical drugs prices in the U.S. with other countries and said, the Trump administration is working on lowering the price of prescription drugs for the American people.

According to Time, Trump came up with a list of 50 proposals, however, it is not clear how all these changes would help lower drug prices.

The report highlights a number of double-digit price hikes past year among the 20 best-selling drugs, including a 29.2 percent increase in the price of Lyrica (manufactured by Pfizer), an 18.9 percent increase in the price of Humira (AbbVie) and an 18.9 percent increase in the price of Enbrel (Amgen).

The FDA approved Lyrica in 2004 to treat diabetic nerve damage. In addition, the agency will issue guidelines that address ways the makers of brand-name drugs block generics from entering the market.

"I can imagine he is going to be very interested in the next company that takes a price increase not justified by inflation or change in clinical benefit".

These same companies now stand to reap billions as a result of the Trump tax cuts.

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Celgene's stock is up 1% today.

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