techkenyot.com
techkenyot.com December 18, 2018


Trump prescription plan doesn't include Medicare-negotiated pricing

14 May 2018, 08:14 | Glen Norman

The Trump administration has its sights on major changes to Medicare in its quest for lower drug prices

Donald Trump

"After negotiations, medicine prices increased just 1.9% previous year, below the rate of inflation, and yet patients' out-of-pocket costs continue to skyrocket, continued Ubl". He said it would take years to restructure the US drug system.

But Trump has since abandoned ideas to lower drug costs he supported during the campaign, including allowing the government's Medicare plan for older Americans to negotiate prices directly with drugmakers, and enabling US consumers to import lower-cost medicines from other countries. "He is exhausted of the government getting bad deals on the drugs seniors need, and I couldn't agree more".

Meanwhile, leading Congressional Democrats offered more aggressive proposals for lowering drug prices, most requiring legislative action.

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"Middlemen" who are increasingly getting blamed for pushing US prescription drug prices ever upward appear relatively unfazed even after the verbal thrashing they got from President Donald Trump last week. And government programs and private consumers do not always have the means to negotiate more reasonable prices. The administration will also seek feedback on other potential policies. In addition, the White House will evaluate the prospect of requiring drug makers to include prices in their ads, and it wants to give the Medicare Part D plan sponsors more negotiation power with drug companies.

"These include the high list prices set by manufacturers, seniors and government programs overpaying for drugs due to [a] lack of the latest negotiating tools, rising out-of-pocket costs for consumers, and foreign governments free-riding off of American investment in innovation", Azar said in an address before the American Hospital Association on Wednesday.

"AARP has long supported ... allowing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower drug prices on behalf of millions of Medicare beneficiaries", Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond said in a statement. "We believe Americans should know which drug companies are gouging consumers and which ones are being good actors for our communities".

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In his remarks, Azar outlined a presidential directive to "bring negotiation where it doesn't exist", merging Part B, Medicare's program for physician-administered drugs, with Part D. The Part D program was implemented in 2006 - when Azar was deputy health secretary and before he departed to become president of Eli Lilly's USA subsidiary.

The federal government now pays providers 6% more than the average price of those medicines.

"While some of these proposals could help make medicines more affordable for patients, others would disrupt coverage and limit patients' access to innovative treatments", he added citing in particular changes to Medicare Pat D and Part B. But there are big, they are bold steps. Some states negotiate supplemental discounts for certain drugs.

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President Trump's much-anticipated speech on prescription drug prices on Friday contained plenty of anti-pharma rhetoric - but despite some concerns about proposed changes, shares in the sector rose in response to what were seen as largely hollow threats. The agency has cleared a backlog of approvals for generic medications, and officials have spoken about tackling the "games" manufacturers play to keep competitors off the market, such as using loopholes to block rivals or paying them to delay bringing their drugs to market.



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