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05:26Dems Slam Drugs Plan: Trump Failed to Prevent Pharmaceutical Price Gouging

05:26Dems Slam Drugs Plan: Trump Failed to Prevent Pharmaceutical Price Gouging”

He vowed to end "abuse" that leads to higher drug prices and attacked pharmaceutical companies, payers, and pharmacy benefit managers, saying "the middle man" has gotten rich on the backs of patients.

Calling his plan "the most sweeping action in history to lower the price of prescription drug for the American people", Trump promised "tougher negotiation, more competition and much lower prices at the pharmacy counter".

He said it would take years to restructure the USA drug system.

The White House proposals also include speeding up the approval process for over-the-counter medications so patients can buy more drugs without prescriptions. In late 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed that drug companies give those discounts directly to consumers instead, at least for certain expensive, brand-name meds. Medicare Part D drug spending grew almost 45% between 2013 and 2016, and more beneficiaries are reaching catastrophic coverage of at least $5,000 out-of-pocket costs-up 50% from 2013 to 2016, according to a new study from Avalere.

Drugmakers have justified high prices by citing the costs of research and development, implying that the the only country paying to create innovative medicines that then benefit the rest of the world. HHS Secretary Alex Azar hopes that other recommendations, including requiring pharmaceutical companies to disclose prices in their advertisements, move more quickly. But the costs of R&D actually don't explain the elevated price of USA drugs compared with the rest of the world.

'There's not a big proposal here that is going to make a huge difference.

"Think about all the time everybody spends watching drug company ads, and how much information companies are required to put in them", Azar said. But under this administration, we are putting American patients first. The administration has also acted to remove barriers to generic drug development and market entry in an effort to spur competition, he said.

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And older drugs for common ailments like diabetes and asthma routinely see price hikes around 10 percent annually. Medicare will continue to be prohibited from directly negotiating prices by law.

Because of the lack of transparency in the system, it's impossible to tell exactly who benefits from rebates.

Drugmakers generally can charge as much as the market will bear because the USA government doesn't regulate medicine prices, unlike most other countries.

Shares of major drugmakers, insurers and PBMs rose after the speech.

In his speech, Gottlieb appeared to raise the possibility of eliminating rebates. "It's all legally sanctioned, but it's not transparent to the consumer". For example, the budget called for allowing prescription drug plans to have more flexibility to exclude drugs and strike better deals. A drug maker will negotiate with the entity paying for the drug, which, in the US, is often a pharmacy benefits manager, such as Express Scripts, or a health plan administered by a business or a union. But the plan didn't address a safe harbor for value-based arrangements and the legal risks related to kickback laws and off-label promotion, she said.

"The rationale is getting to a more competitive model".

'America will not be cheated any longer, and especially will not be cheated by foreign countries, ' he said, adding that he has instructed the US Trade Representative to make the issue a top priority with trading partners. "But the problem - one of the problems with moving them over - is it's tricky".

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According to figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, US consumers spent $1,162 per person on pharmaceuticals in 2015, compared to $756 in Canada and $497 in the United Kingdom, where the government has established measures to control drug prices. Senior administration officials did not explain how the government could achieve its goal.

The president also spoke of ending trade practices overseas that lead to unfair prices for Americans.

PhRMA immediately cautioned that any changes to the system could potentially limit access to new drugs.

Those changes could help individual seniors. "And it will start to take effect very soon". It has also been projected to drive premiums up.

His proposals did not scare the system he criticized. "They're thinking of the price to the patient, or - more cynically - they're thinking about the price to the voter". President Trump pointed to the reformation of the Drug Discount Program for safety net hospitals as one step in that direction.

"What other countries do is what the Veterans Administration here does", said David Blumenthal, president of the Commonwealth Fund. But the President's blueprint hinted at further action the government could take, mentioning reexamination of how drug rebates are now treated under safe harbor laws as a future "opportunity".

But Big Pharma Should Still Be On Notice: "The industry is among the most profitable of any industry in the USA and as such probably has room to give", Wells Fargo analyst David Maris told Bloomberg.

Arizona teachers back at state Capitol before new budget vote
Lawmakers were also questioning the governor's plan, with most saying they wanted to see specifics before committing to a vote. Leaders had said Tuesday night that teachers would return to work Thursday if the Legislature has passed the budget by then.

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