Trump promises to lower drug prices but blueprint lacks details

President Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable discussion on tax reform at the Cleveland Public Auditorium in Cleveland Ohio U.S

"If President Trump was serious about lowering the cost of drugs, he would work with Congress on a bipartisan basis to change the law to allow Medicare to negotiate for lower prices and curb abuses used by brand name drugs to delay or block generic competition".

But experts are skeptical the US can pressure foreign governments to pay more for drugs. This information reaches prescribers through an innovative e-prescribing system that can be utilized at the point of prescribing and at the pharmacy counter to quickly and seamlessly evaluate individual prescription savings opportunities in real time, saving patients up to $75 per prescription.

President Trump has introduced a strategy he says will lower prescription drug prices for consumers by focusing on private-sector incentives.

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued this statement on President Trump's prescription drug price proposal: "Instead of putting forth a bold initiative, the President pulled his punch".

The Trump administration unveiled its plan to help combat rising drug prices. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb recently caused a stir when he suggested that the federal government could re-examine whether drug manufacturers' rebates on those list prices are kickbacks. "The AMA [American Medical Association] is pleased the Trump administration is moving forward with its effort to address seemingly arbitrary pricing for prescription drugs", AMA president David Barbe, MD, said in a statement. "A lot of good questions in the plan but very little actual action, especially against PBMs", tweeted Walid Gellad, a drug policy expert at the University of Pittsburgh.

High list prices of drugs are first on the list of problems Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has been highlighting in recent speeches. The result would be lower pharmacy costs for patients - a key Trump campaign promise.

The Administration wants to see the development of more generic drugs, which previous year saved the FDA $8.8 billion by the development of an estimated 1,000 generics.

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But others warn that there is no guarantee that unraveling the current price-setting bureaucracy will lead to lower prices, because it all starts with drugmakers' initial prices. However, the organization criticized the administration because the plan leaves in place a 2% sequester cut made to Medicare reimbursement for cancer drugs in 2013. 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. Doing so would require giving Medicare more power to exclude certain drugs, which opponents say could limit seniors' access to medications.

Overall, Trump emphasized how businesses all across the pharmaceutical supply chain, from drugmakers to insurers to the pharmacy benefits manager "middlemen" and the government, are hurting Americans who take prescription drugs. "We need to foster and nurture a new, competitive biosimilar drug market".

Trump's speech singled out foreign governments that "extort unreasonably low prices from US drugmakers" using price controls and said USA trade representatives would prioritize the issue in trade deals.

The measures aim to increase competition, create incentives for drugmakers to lower initial prices and stop foreign governments from "freeloading" off US pharmaceutical research. Trump is promising their number one priority: trade deals that boost prices overseas.

In countries with centralized health care systems, including Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan and most nations in the European Union, a single entity negotiates on behalf of all the country's residents.

During the 2016 campaign, Trump had repeatedly insisted that Medicare should negotiate with suppliers to bring down prices paid under the program. Drug companies, however, have lobbied hard to prevent government involvement, and Republicans have generally not supported such a proposal.

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