POINT OF VIEW: The Trump Administration’s Blueprint to Lower Consumer Drug Prices
The pharmaceutical industry’s greatest fears did not come to pass on Friday, May 11, 2018 when the Trump Administration rolled out its plan to lower prescription drug prices for consumers. The Administration’s “historic plan for bringing down the high price of drugs and reducing out of pocket costs for the American consumer” reads more as a menu of ideas and suggestions to be taken up by HHS (including the FDA and CMS) through creative interpretations of existing laws, rule-making or program demonstrations or by Congress, and legislation that would change certain provisions of Medicare or the Affordable Care Act. In an agency Request for Information, published on May 16, 2018, HHS issued dozens of policy questions aimed at virtually every challenge or idea that was mentioned in the blueprint, as well as related ideas put out by policy makers, industry associations and think tanks over the past few years. Ultimately, we can expect HHS to authorize some demonstration projects, waivers and experiments along the lines of the blueprint that could possibly lower drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries. But most of these actions would not take effect until 2020 at the earliest.
The Trump Administration proposes 4 approaches to lower drug costs:
• Improved Competition • Better Negotiation
• Incentives for Lower List Prices • Lowering Out-of-Pocket Costs
Missing from the blueprint: 2 tactics the President promised during his election campaign: • Drug Reimportation • Direct Negotiation for Medicare Drug Prices
THIS WAY IN
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