Will Trump's drug prices plan make a difference for patients?

Trump is about to lay out his plans to lower drug prices — here's what to expect

The blueprint includes a series of proposals that the Trump administration says it will study or evaluate, such as possibly requiring pharmaceutical makers to list prices in television ads or giving Medicare Part D drug plans more leeway to adjust which drugs they cover.

Last fall, a major report by the National Academy of Sciences recommended a slate of aggressive steps, including government intervention to negotiate lower prices for American patients, limits on prescription drug advertising and new efforts to determine the "value" of drugs by assessing how well they work relative to how much they cost.

Fox News Radio's Guy Benson spoke to Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) earlier who says Trump "laid out a way to take power away from special interests-protecting innovation, but not protecting drug monopolies".

The president referred to price disparity in overseas versus domestic markets; while one particular medicine may cost hundreds of dollars in the US, prices overseas are often a third or half the cost, he argued, adding that the inconsistently is "unfair and it's ridiculous, and it's not going to happen any longer".

A copy of a longer document describing how the Trump administration sees the drug price situation is available here.

When President Trump took the podium at the Rose Garden ceremony announcing the Patients First Blueprint he said we will have "tougher negotiation, more competition and much lower prices at the pharmacy counter". Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas dismissed Trump's plan as "a sugar-coated nothing pill". "The middlemen became very, very rich".

- Reconsidering how Medicare pays for some high-priced drugs administered at doctors' offices. The American people deserve a health care system that takes care of them, not one that taxes and takes advantage of our patients, and our consumers, and our citizens.

Trump also blasted the pharmaceutical and insurance industries for spending hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbying to protect the status quo.

By the numbers, the average person in the US pays about $1,000 a year for prescription drugs.

Requiring Part D plans to pass on rebates to consumers is one idea PBMs have rallied against.

Even Trump's tough talk about going after other nations that negotiate lower prices for their citizens - which the president labeled "free loading" - was accompanied only by instructions to his trade negotiators to raise this issue in talks with US trading partners.

CVS, which runs a large PBM, said policies that lowered drug prices would be aligned with its business model and are unlikely to have a negative impact on profitability.

Indeed, despite Trump's consistent rhetoric about pharmaceutical companies "getting away with murder", the administration hasn't taken action on drugmakers, which have so far largely benefited from his administration. "A study previous year by the industry journal Health Affairs found that the premiums that drugmakers earn by charging more for USA medicines far outweigh the amount they spend on developing new products".

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

"It's hard to know why Germany or France of Australia would agree to something like that", said Professor Jack Hoadley of Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute.

Topher Spiro, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, argued that a major reason pharma stocks rose as Trump formally announced his plan is because the president placed blame for high usa drug prices on the low prices in nations with "socialized healthcare"-exonerating American drug giants from any blame for soaring costs". The annual total was a record for the group.

"We look forward to working with the administration on solutions that help provide all patients access to prescription drugs with out-of-pocket costs they can afford", Jim Greenwood, CEO of biotech trade association BIO said in a statement.

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