Administration's Drug Pricing Initiative Coming Soon

March 23, 2018

President Trump announced that in order to address high prescription drug costs his administration will unveil a slate of proposals focusing on pharmacy benefit managers and the discounts they negotiate with pharmaceutical manufacturers.  According to the President, "If you compare our drug prices to other countries in the world, in some cases it's many times higher for the same exact pill, or whatever it is, in the exact same package made in the exact same plant, and we're going to change that."  President Trump blamed the high costs on drug lobbies and the complex distribution system.  Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said, "We're going to be rolling out ... in about a month, a whole slate of other proposals around how we decrease the price of drugs, and how we bring discounts that right now the middle men are getting — how those will go to our patients, to individuals."  More than 31 drug pricing bills have been introduced in the 115th Congress.  Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) plans to introduce legislation that would prohibit gag clauses that prevent pharmacists from telling patients their drugs would cost less if they paid out of pocket rather than use their insurance.