Washington – POTUS Donald Trump executes orders to give Americans financial relief from prescription drug costs. The President has previously proposed most of the orders that were executed, but Congress has yet to pass any major drug price reforms. This may presumably be a result of of significant industry pushback.
Reuters reports that the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) made a statement saying “Reviving a rebate reform proposal now does not address the underlying flaws – that it will drastically increase Medicare premiums for America’s seniors and most vulnerable.” PCMA’s members negotiate rebates for healthcare payers to pharmaceutical companies.
Not everyone agrees that drug price reform is a bad idea however. Paying the rebates directly to seniors in the form of discounts could cut their drug costs by as much as $30 billion, or as much as 30%, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a Friday press call. (Reuters)
The primary features of each order are:
- Allowing the legal importation of cheaper prescription drugs from other nations (i.e. Canada)
- Require discounts currently captured by middlemen to be passed on the patients
- Lowering the cost of insulin
- Require Medicare to purchase drugs at the same price that other countries pay
Wall Street analysts believe that drugmakers would not actually feel much of an impact and that the effective measures in the executive orders could prove difficult to implement.
“We believe they are likely geared more towards deriving campaign talking points rather than producing tangible, material effects,” Brian Abrahams, a biotech analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said in a note. (Reuters)