Secretary Azar's Remarks on the Trump Administration's Drug Pricing Blueprint

Donald Trump

This also gives manufactures the incentive to raise prices and gives providers the incentive to select more expensive medicines.

On the same day of the speech, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a new report; "Skyrocketing Drug Prices: Year One of the Trump Administration".

HHS also plans to use shaming tactics against any drug makers that refuse to make samples available for generic manufacturers to use for their development work, calling them out on any abuses they find.

Trump also placed blame on foreign governments, saying they "extort unreasonably low prices" from US drugmakers, forcing companies to charge more in this country.

Mr. Trump's "blueprint to lower drug prices" incorporates a number of legislative proposals included in his 2019 budget request.

Trump and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar laid out the main planks of the drug pricing blueprint in a White House Rose Garden address.

Azar's list of proposals, which will likely be the subject of considerable lobbying with Congress, includes overturning the cap lawmakers put in place on penalties for raising drug prices beyond the rate of inflation - a common industry practice for years.

"It's going to be months for the kind of actions that we need to take here", Azar said.

"We look forward to working with industry to build a better system", he said. "If we want to have a real market for drugs, why not have them disclose their prices in the ads, too?"

But Friday speech provided some reprieve as most of the proposals Trump was talking about aren't new. Azar, a former Eli Lilly executive, said that drugmakers could be punished for blocking the development of generics and biosimilars.

But, "it's a sentiment that a lot of people in the industry, and generic companies, in particular, agree with", Landmon said. He said that "the middle man" has become rich on the backs of patients. The FDA commissioner did not address this in his statement. The FDA is already in the midst of streamlining the submission process for generic drug applicants and hopes to prioritize the review of certain generics.

USA drug companies are still making profits in other nations, just lower than in the U.S., which has the highest drug prices in the world.

In his remarks, Azar tore into a longstanding proposal - backed by numerous Democrats - to allow direct negotiation for Medicare's Part D program to help bring down drug prices. "Medicare gets a bill for the drug, composed of the standard price plus a 6% markup, and we pay it. Compare that with the negotiation in Part D: Plans determine whether a drug should be covered or whether an alternative is superior".

The administration is also considering rules that would institute site neutrality.

And unsafe drugs from unreliable manufacturers could be used to plug the gap.

"US has highest healthcare costs in the world and U.S. needs to study German, UK & Scandinavian (relatively lower cost) healthcare models to drive down Healthcare in United States of America and not blame it as a cost of cross subsidising other developing countries healthcare costs", said Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator of AiMeD - the trade body of Indian medical devices companies". "ACS CAN will continue its advocacy efforts to ensure patients have access to quality, affordable health care coverage for all their needs, including prescription drugs". However, COA criticized the administration for leaving a 2% sequester cut to Medicare reimbursement for cancer drugs in 2013.

Lower-cost drugs cannot enter the USA market because of efforts by pharmaceutical companies to game regulatory processes and the patent system so that they can maintain unfair monopolies, Trump complained.

The White House's new drug pricing blueprint will clearly have ramifications overseas. "It has to be stopped now".

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