Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Donald Trump's prescription to reduce drug prices takes small steps

Donald Trump's prescription to reduce drug prices takes small steps Donald Trump's prescription to reduce drug prices takes small steps
Steven Clarke | 18 May, 2018, 13:48

Top federal health officials on Monday defended President Donald Trump's plan to reduce drug prices Monday after critics charged it left out more aggressive measures Trump advocated when he was a presidential candidate.

Drugs are more expensive in America than anywhere else. "At the same time, it is not clear at all how they are going to lower list prices".

Azar, who came to HHS after a stint as president of the USA operations of the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, opened his talk by dispensing with the industry's long-embraced argument that high prices are necessary to pay for research into future cures.

Drugmakers generally can charge as much as the market will bear because the US government doesn't regulate medicine prices, unlike most other developed countries. "Trump chose the incremental over the disruptive".

"It's not going to lower drug prices", Mitchell says. But as president he has shied away from major changes and has staffed his administration with appointees who have deep ties to the industry.

Under the current system, drugmakers and physicians are incentivized to keep prices high in Medicare Part B, Leerink analyst Ana Gupte said.

Azar, a former pharmaceutical company executive, said Trump views tougher negotiation as key to the plan. In what Azar refers to as a "merger", the Administration will seek to apply this type of negotiation to Medicare Part B drugs as well. He gave no timeframe for more concrete steps. "It took decades to erect this very complex, interwoven system", Azar said in a briefing following the speech. "But it would probably help for patients to know that the drug they're getting costs $100,000".

Donald Trump's prescription to reduce drug prices takes small steps

"On the one hand we are talking about banning rebates, but on the other we are talking about how great the private market is at controlling costs", said Craig Garthwaite, director of the health care program at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. And older drugs for common ailments like diabetes and asthma routinely see price hikes around 10 percent annually.

Instead, citing a "tangled web of special interests" as the premise, it only offers to fix the process at the level of the manufacturer, insurer, and pharmacy benefit manager, with wishful thinking that telling foreign governments to pay more for drugs would somehow result in lower prices in the U.S. Putting "American Patients First"? Especially when drug insurance interacts with monopoly pricing to distort drug production and drug use. "He is exhausted of the government getting bad deals on the drugs seniors need, and I couldn't agree more".

HHS likely has authority to pilot or experiment with limited programs, health policy experts said.

Mr Trump also repeated an argument beloved of pharmaceutical companies-that foreigners are to blame for America's high prescription-drug prices.

In the U.S., Medicare is the largest purchaser of prescription drugs, covering 60 million seniors and Americans with disabilities, but it is barred by law from directly negotiating lower prices with drugmakers.

The drug industry's top lobbying arm, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, spent almost $26 million to sway federal decision makers previous year, according to records tallied by Center for Responsive Politics.

The Trump administration criticises the rationing of treatment in other countries.

Rajoy 'available to speak' with new Catalan leader
The move fueled a political crisis with Madrid that termed the referendum illegal, citing Spain's constitution which says Spain is indivisible.

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