In an effort to “completely restructure the prescription drug market in terms of pricing,” President Trump announced he will sign several executive orders geared toward lowering the cost of prescription drugs Friday.
The ERs, which are subject to regulatory review, are meant to bring US drug prices down to at least be on par with what their costs are overseas.
But Americans should not expect to see the cost of a Rx drug drop immediately.
President Trump said Americans sometimes pay as much as 80% more for prescription drugs than citizens of Germany, Canada and other nations do for some of the most expensive medicines.
“The 4 orders I am signing today will completely restructure the prescription drug market in terms of pricing and everything else to make these medications affordable and accessible for all Americans,” President Trump said at the White House. “Under my administration, we are standing up to the lobbyists and special interests and fighting back against a rigged system.”
One order specifically targets the high price of Insulin. It requires federal community health centers to pass discounts they receive on the drug and EpiPens directly to patients.
Another order allows states, pharmacies and wholesalers to import drugs from Canada where they typically cost less than in the US.
Currently, it is mostly illegal to import medications from abroad for personal use, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
The 3rd order blocks “middlemen” or pharmacy benefit managers from keeping “gigantic discounts,” President Trump said. There is a rebate system in place where drugmakers award discounts to pharmacy benefit managers, often in exchange for more favorable insurance coverage for their drugs.
President Trump said he would hold off on signing the 4th order because it may not be needed. The order would allow Medicare to purchase drugs at the same price other countries pay through an “international pricing index.”
“Everyone will get a fairer and much lower price,” President Trump said. “Under our ridiculous system, which has been broken for decades, we’re not even allowed to negotiate the price of drugs.”
In order to give the industry time to “come up with something” that would cut back on drug prices, President Trump said he will hold off on signing the 4th order until 24 August.
Drug company executives are scheduled to meet at the White House Tuesday.
Have a healthy weekend, Keep the Faith!