Tags: Trump | prescriptiondrugs | executiveorder | health

Trump Signs Executive Orders in Attempt to Lower Cost of Prescription Drugs

Trump Signs Executive Orders in Attempt to Lower Cost of Prescription Drugs
U.S. President Donald Trump signs executive orders on prescription drug prices on July 24, 2020. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 24 July 2020 04:54 PM

In an effort to “completely restructure the prescription drug market in terms of pricing,” President Donald Trump announced he will sign several executive orders geared toward lowering the cost of prescription drugs on Friday, CNBC reports.

The orders, which are subject to regulatory review, are meant to bring U.S. drug prices down to at least be on par with what their costs are overseas.

But Americans shouldn’t expect to see the cost of a prescription drug drop immediately. Just because Trump signed the orders on Friday, CNBC reports it could be months before the administration finalizes them.

Trump said Americans sometimes pay as much as 80% more for prescription drugs than citizens of Germany, Canada and other nations do for some of the most expensive medicines.

“The four orders I’m signing today will completely restructure the prescription drug market in terms of pricing and everything else to make these medications affordable and accessible for all Americans,” Trump said at the White House. “Under my administration, we’re standing up to the lobbyists and special interests and fighting back against a rigged system.”

One order specifically targets the high price of insulin. It requires federal community health centers to pass discounts they receive on the drug and EpiPens directly to patients.

Another order allows states, pharmacies and wholesalers to import drugs from Canada where they typically cost less than in the U.S. Currently, it is mostly illegal to import medications from abroad for personal use, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

The third order blocks “middlemen” or pharmacy benefit managers from keeping “gigantic discounts,” Trump said. There is a rebate system in place where drugmakers award discounts to pharmacy benefit managers, often in exchange for more favorable insurance coverage for their drugs.

Trump said he would hold off on signing the fourth order because it may not be needed. The order would allow Medicare to purchase drugs at the same price other countries pay through an “international pricing index.”

“Everyone will get a fairer and much lower price,” Trump said. “Under our ridiculous system, which has been broken for decades, we’re not even allowed to negotiate the price of drugs.”

In order to give the industry time to “come up with something” that would cut back on drug prices, Trump said he will hold off on signing the fourth order until Aug. 24.

Drug company executives are scheduled to meet at the White House on Tuesday.

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Donald Trump said Americans sometimes pay as much as 80% more for prescription drugs than citizens of Germany, Canada and other nations do for some of the most expensive medicines...
Trump, prescriptiondrugs, executiveorder, health
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2020-54-24
Friday, 24 July 2020 04:54 PM
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