President Trump Announces Plan to Reduce Drug Prices

May 11, 2018

President Donald Trump rolled out a sweeping 44-page blueprint to lower drug prices, promote competition, ease government regulation, and reduce out-of-pocket drug costs that also seeks public input on a number of novel ideas like value-based arrangements, price reporting, and creating incentives to lower list prices.

The American Patients First plan presents a number of modest proposals “to encourage innovation, while also promoting better price competition and addressing foreign freeloading,” including:
  • Providing Medicare Part D plan sponsors more negotiation power with drug makers;
  • Advancing biosimilars and generics to boost price competition;
  • Ending the gaming of regulatory and patent processes by drug makers; and 
  • Addressing unfair intellectual property and market access policies in our trade agreements so that OECD countries “contribute their fair share to innovation.”
One thing to watch for is how much cost-shifting to private payers may occur from proposals to limit drug prices for Medicare and Medicaid.

The plan stops short of the sweeping proposals President Trump offered on the campaign trail, like having Medicare negotiate drug prices, and was criticized by Democrats for not going far enough.

How much will Congress pass remains a big question, but the administration is prepared to take what steps it can without congressional action.

HR Policy will be taking a closer look at the details and plans to comment the Administrations proposal.  Katy Talento, Special Assistant to the President and policy lead on health care issues will also be at the American Health Policy Institute’s Board of Governors meeting on June 7th to discuss the plan and other issues.