5 things to know about Trump's plan to lower drug prices

Drug Importation 'Just a Gimmick,' Says HHS Secretary

Drug Importation 'Just a Gimmick,' Says HHS Secretary

"When foreign governments extort unreasonably low prices from U.S. drug makers, Americans have to pay more to subsidise the enormous cost of research and development", Trump said. He also cited supply chain middlemen for getting "very rich" under the current system and promised regulatory and legislative changes to address the status quo. The sigh of relief could be heard throughout industry and the investment community, providing a lift for industry stock prices. Healthcare investors had braced for months for more direct attempts to regulate US prices that would cut into industry profits. And it will develop options to lower patients' out-of-pocket spending.

Trump's new policy actions on lowering drug prices, could have implications on US-India bilateral trade relations.

The president said he directed the USA trade representative to make fixing this "injustice" a top priority during trade discussions.

"The only way that direct negotiation saves money is by doing something this administration does not believe in: denying access to certain medicines for all Medicare beneficiaries, or setting prices for drugs by government fiat", Azar continued.

Azar's comments provided more details on the plan announced on Friday by President Donald Trump to lower prescription drug costs for Americans.

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.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Monday defended President Trump's drug-pricing plan against critics who think it's too soft on Big Pharma, saying it will force drugmakers to the negotiating table under Medicare even if it doesn't do it by "government fiat".

Indian drug makers who sell copycat drugs are facing heat in United States due to steep competition and pricing pressure and were keenly watching Trump's speech - who earlier accused the pharmaceutical industry "getting away with murder" and threatened "sweeping action".

Instead, the administration is proposing a "competitive acquisition program" for Part B drugs."The concept of the competitive acquisition program is not to have physicians take title to the medications they're administering, but rather, have a competitive program where those drugs would be purchased and the capital outlay would occur elsewhere", so the doctor doesn't have to buy the drug "and the physician is paid. a fair, appropriate level of reimbursement for their services in administering the drug", Azar said.

The HHS document floated the idea of requiring drugmakers to put list prices in drug ads. Implementing such a program, though, raises many questions about what pricing data would be disclosed and under what authority. In addition, the agency will issue guidelines that address ways the makers of brand-name drugs block generics from entering the market.

Consider sharing of samples needed for generic drug development; Promote the use of biosimilars. Similarly, the administration supports efforts to streamline and accelerate the approval process for over-the-counter drugs to further boost market competition. Meanwhile Americans are paying more at the pharmacy counter due to health insurance plans that require them to shoulder more of their prescription costs. The top priority is to permit Medicare to use its purchasing power to negotiate prices directly with plans and manufacturers. He also opted not to allow American consumers to import low-priced medicines from overseas. "This is the most comprehensive attack on prescription drug affordability in history, by any president".

"There are over 50 actions that we have in the blueprint", Azar said, according to a transcript.

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