Offbeat Trump to Drop Call for Medicare to Negotiate Lower Drug Prices

04:32  11 may  2018
04:32  11 may  2018 Source:   nytimes.com

As Trump Prepares Plan to Lower Drug Prices, Big Pharma Girds for a Fight

  As Trump Prepares Plan to Lower Drug Prices, Big Pharma Girds for a Fight President Trump will lay out a plan this month to make good on his promise to lower prescription prices. Drug companies are ready to resist.Not if the pharmaceutical companies can stop it.

President Obama called for letting Medicare negotiate the prices of biologics (which are often made from living cells) and high-cost drugs in his budget About 7 out of 10 Americans, including two-thirds of Republicans, said Medicare should be able to negotiate lower prices for all prescription drugs .

Donald Trump says Medicare should negotiate drug prices . Instead, the candidates should end their calls for Medicare to negotiate drug prices . They will definitely drop drugs from their formulary if the Pharmas negotiated price is too high.

Donald Trump et al. sitting at a table: President Trump meeting with his cabinet on Wednesday. During the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump boldly broke with his party and called for the federal government to use its buying power to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare recipients. © Doug Mills/The New York Times President Trump meeting with his cabinet on Wednesday. During the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump boldly broke with his party and called for the federal government to use its buying power to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare recipients.

WASHINGTON — President Trump will lay out on Friday a broad strategy to reduce prescription drug prices, but in a break from one of his most popular campaign promises, he will not call for Medicare to negotiate lower prices with drug manufacturers, senior administration officials said.

The White House will issue a blueprint that represents “the most comprehensive plan to tackle prescription drug affordability of any president,” a senior official told journalists on Thursday night.

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  3 ways Trump could lower drug prices The president is set to unveil his plan for combating the high cost of prescriptions -- here's where he can get startedWhile much as been said about what the president may or may not propose -- on-script or off -- here's a look a three ways the government could help lower the cost of prescriptions, even in the face of opposition from various interested parties.

Because of the drug companies,” Trump said, according to The Associated Press. Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton Clinton calls for FEC to let campaigns use funds For example, letting Medicare negotiate prices still appears to have little hope in Congress.

It’s time to require Medicare negotiate with drug corporations for lower prices . President Trump has promised to bring down drug prices , saying, “We don’t bid properly, and we’re going to start bidding.”

Asked if the plan would include direct negotiations by Medicare, the official said, “No, we are talking about something different.”

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“We are not calling for Medicare negotiation in the way that Democrats have called for,” the official said later. “We clearly want to make important changes that will dramatically improve the way negotiation takes place inside the Medicare program.”

As he campaigned for the presidency, Mr. Trump boldly broke with his party and embraced a longstanding Democratic proposal when he called for the federal government to use its buying power to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare recipients. The proposal was popular with voters but not with other Republican politicians, who had been battling it for years.

Trump to propose Medicare drug plans share some manufacturer rebates with patients

  Trump to propose Medicare drug plans share some manufacturer rebates with patients The plan, set to be released Friday, includes a number of provisions including require Medicare Part D plan share rebates with patients.The plan, set to be released Friday, will require Medicare Part D plans share a portion of discounts they receive from drug manufacturers with patients, the officials said. It will include ways to allow the government to better negotiate, they said, though it will stop short of allowing Medicare to directly work with manufacturers on prices.

During his presidential campaign, Trump called for Medicare to negotiate drug pricing . In January, the president criticized the lobbying efforts of pharmaceutical companies and suggested again that the federal government should negotiate drug prices .

The bill would direct the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to negotiate lower drug prices under the Medicare Part D plan. So far, President Trump hasn’t said publicly if he supports the legislation.

Under Part D of Medicare, millions of older Americans receive insurance coverage for prescription drugs. The benefit is delivered entirely by private entities under contract with Medicare. These private entities — insurance companies and the middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers — negotiate prices with drugmakers. But under a 2003 law, the federal government “may not interfere” in those negotiations.

The president’s plan will make it easier for private plans to negotiate “better deals for our seniors, especially for high-cost medications,” said the senior administration official, who spoke on the condition that he would not be named. The official refused to provide details, which he said would be disclosed on Friday.

Congressional Democrats said they would like to work with Mr. Trump on plans to rein in drug costs, but they predicted that his proposals would be inadequate.

Trump lays out his plan to tackle high drug prices

  Trump lays out his plan to tackle high drug prices President Donald Trump spoke Friday about ways to lower the price of prescription drugs. Trump focused on finding ways to increase competition, get more negotiating power, and finding ways to lower pharmaceutical list prices as well as the out-of-pocket costs patients are facing according to senior administration officials familiar with the speech.

Elijah Cummings said President Trump in recent meetings was “enthusiastic” about proposals to lower drug prices by having Medicare negotiate with pharmaceutical companies and by importing less costly medicines from Canada or other foreign countries.

The administration has quietly abandoned his campaign pledges to let Medicare negotiate drug prices and import cheaper medicines from overseas. President Donald Trump ’s condemnation on Twitter Monday of Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier for what he called “RIPOFF DRUG PRICES ” was just his

“On the campaign trail, he spoke like a populist,” the Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, said on Thursday. “He talked the talk, but he has failed — at least so far — to walk the walk.”

Mr. Trump plans to speak in the Rose Garden of the White House to an audience that includes members of Congress and patients who have suffered because of high drug costs.

The theme of the president’s initiative is “American patients first,” and his plan takes aim at what the White House calls “foreign freeloading.” The administration will, as expected, put pressure on foreign countries to relax drug price controls, in the belief that pharmaceutical companies can then lower prices in the United States.

“Other countries use socialized health care to command unfairly low prices from U.S. drugmakers,” said a summary provided by the White House on Thursday. “This places the burden of financing drug development largely on American patients and taxpayers, subsidizes foreign consumers, and reduces innovation and the development of new treatments.”

The United States spends well over $300 billion a year on prescription drugs sold at pharmacies and other retail outlets, and Medicare and Medicaid account for nearly 40 percent of that spending, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Trump outlines plan to lower drug prices

  Trump outlines plan to lower drug prices The president said he would promote more competition, but broke with the promises that he made while campaigning, like calling for Medicare to negotiate lower prices.WASHINGTON — President Trump vowed on Friday to “derail the gravy train for special interests” as he outlined a strategy intended to lower the cost of prescription drugs by promoting tougher negotiation, more competition and measures to stop foreign countries from taking advantage of American industry.

Peter Welch (D-Vt.) introduced The Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2017 to direct the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs under Medicare Part D—a proposal that President Donald Trump said he backs

Because of the drug companies," Trump said, according to The Associated Press. school shooting, vows for change but no clear path forward MORE, as well as President Obama, have called for the same policy of letting Medicare negotiate prices , which it is currently banned from doing under the

Mr. Trump plans to criticize brand-name drug manufacturers for setting high list prices and for trying to stifle competition by delaying the marketing of lower-cost generic drugs. He is also expected to criticize pharmacy benefit managers, saying they profit from rebates paid by drug companies but do not pass on much of the savings to patients.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly said that drug companies are “getting away with murder.”

In his State of the Union address in January, he said that “fixing the injustice of high drug prices” was one of his top priorities for 2018. “And prices will come down substantially,” he said. “Watch.”

As a presidential candidate, Mr. Trump supported two ideas that are anathema to the pharmaceutical industry: allowing Medicare officials to negotiate prices and allowing consumers to import prescription drugs from Canada and certain other countries where brand-name drug prices are generally lower than in the United States.

But top administration officials, like Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, and Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, strenuously oppose those ideas. Republicans argue that the federal government has such overwhelming power as a buyer that it could basically set a price that manufacturers would have to comply with.

Health stocks rally on Trump's vague plan to cut drug prices

  Health stocks rally on Trump's vague plan to cut drug prices Healthcare stocks are climbing after President Donald Trump's much anticipated speech on how to lower drug costs in the US. The Trump administration promised more flexibility to improve pricing negotiations, giving free generics to seniors, and mandating that plans pass along rebates to patients and putting a cap on out-of-pocket costs. While Trump expressed interest in negotiating drug prices, the government cannot do that for Medicare and Medicaid. The plan did not include any new restrictions on pharmaceutical companies or health insurance companies.

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has embraced a policy that liberals love: allowing Medicare to negotiate for drugs . Republicans have opposed such policies, saying that lower prices would leave drugmakers with less money for research — and leave Americans with less innovation in the

Elijah Cummings said President Trump in recent meetings was "enthusiastic" about proposals to lower drug prices by having Medicare negotiate with pharmaceutical companies and by importing less costly medicines from Canada or other foreign countries.

And since taking office, Mr. Trump has not endorsed such proposals.

Many ideas in the president’s “blueprint to lower drug prices” can be carried out unilaterally by the secretary of health and human services. But the blueprint also includes several legislative proposals from the president’s 2019 budget request.

One legislative proposal would allow low-income people on Medicare to obtain free generic drugs, without co-payments. Another would, for the first time, establish an overall limit on Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs. Mr. Trump also wants to lower costs for consumers at the pharmacy counter by requiring Medicare drug plans to pass on at least one-third of the rebates they receive from drug manufacturers.

Mr. Azar, testifying on Capitol Hill on Thursday, described the problem this way: “Prescription drug costs in our country are too high. List prices are too high. Seniors and government programs are overpaying due to lack of negotiating tools. Out-of-pocket costs are too high. And foreign governments are freeloading off of our investments in innovation.”

Democrats are driving for a more aggressive approach. Representative Peter Welch, Democrat of Vermont, said: “We acknowledge that drug companies make life-extending and pain-relieving drugs, and that’s a good thing. But the price gouging is killing patients.” Consumers, he said, are being “held hostage to the pricing power of Big Pharma.”

The Food and Drug Administration approved 1,027 generic drugs last year, a record, and nearly 90 percent of prescriptions are filled with generic medicines, for which consumers often pay less than $25.

But increasing numbers of costly new brand-name drugs are also entering the market. Some provide highly effective treatments for some forms of cancer and other diseases. But the prices sometimes exceed $100,000 a year, and even patients with health insurance may be responsible for tens of thousands of dollars in co-payments.

6 Takeaways From Trump’s Plans to Try to Lower Drug Prices .
The drug industry won some key victories, even if it did not escape entirely unscathed. Many proposals were light on detail and will need action by Congress to become real.Yet Mr. Trump won some praise for having taken a stab at tackling such a complex and vitally important issue to many Americans.Here is a rundown of the key proposals unveiled on Friday.Lower drug prices for older peopleOn the campaign trail, Mr.

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