President Trump’s Prescription To Lower Drug Costs
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
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On Friday, May 11, 2018, President Trump vowed to “bring soaring drug prices back down to earth” by promoting competition among pharmaceutical companies, requiring drugmakers to disclose prices in their ubiquitous television ads, and preventing foreign governments from freeloading off of the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. But he dropped his popular proposal during presidential campaign, opting not to have the federal government negotiating directly for lower drug prices for Medicare. He also did not allow American consumers to import lower-cost drugs from overseas. Instead, Trump would give private entities more tools to negotiate better deals on behalf of consumers, insurers, and employers. President Trump said, in the Rose Garden of the White House, that a “tangled web of special interests” had conspired to keep drug prices high at the expense of American consumers.
In essence, the Trump administration would push for smaller administrative and legislative actions affecting various parts of the pharmaceutical landscape and float a series of reforms to Medicare to allow the government to secure lower prices and reduce incentives for doctors to prescribe high-cost medications. Proposals such as offering free generic drugs to seniors, requiring Medicare Part D plans to pass certain portion of the drug rebates to patients, and capping certain out of pocket costs for Medicare Part D beneficiaries were included.
The securities analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, Ronny Gal, analyzed that the president’s speech was “very, very positive to pharma…We have not seen anything about that speech which should concern investors” in the pharmaceutical industry.
The director of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Center for Health Policy and Outcomes, Peter Bach, said he needed to see a lot more details before being able to assess the overall plan and he was guardedly optimistic about the efforts to pass rebates on to consumers.
Soon after president’s speech, shares of several major drug and biotech companies and stocks of pharmacy benefit managers rose. On Friday. Nasdaq Biotechnology Index rose 2.7% and CVS Health (managing pharmacy benefits for many insurers and employers) rose 3.2%.
Photographed, gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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