Trump Trashes Pharma's Middlemen, but the Stocks Rise

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

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

Permitting Medicare Part D plans to pay a different price for a high-cost drug based on its indication could also lower drug prices, according to the plan.

The move marks a shift from Trump's campaign rhetoric, in which he said that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services should be able to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies to reduce prices.

Fox News Radio's Guy Benson spoke to Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) earlier who says Trump "laid out a way to take power away from special interests-protecting innovation, but not protecting drug monopolies".

Raising Drug Prices in Other Countries Won't Help Here: "There's not a sensible health economist alive, or any economist, that will tell you that higher prices overseas will lead to lower prices here", Andrea Harris, senior vice president of health care at Height Capital Markets in Washington, told Bloomberg. But the costs of R&D actually don't explain the elevated price of USA drugs compared with the rest of the world.

Since Trump took office, most of the action on drug pricing has come from the Food and Drug Administration, which has gone about as far as it legally can on the issue by pushing for greater competition in drug markets.

President Trump promised to bring "soaring drug prices back down to earth" on Friday, saying he would encourage more competition and stop foreign countries from keeping drug prices low so that American consumers must pay more for the same drugs.

Instead, President Trump says his administration is getting tough on the drug makers that exploit our patent laws to choke out competition. "They're not gonna like that", he said.

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Familiar in its themes and rhetoric, the speech touched on everything from privatization to patent laws, while spotlighting plans to kill "gag rules" affecting pharmacists and to "demand fairness overseas" where Trump said foreign governments "extort unreasonably low prices from US drugmakers", putting the onus of subsidizing R&D costs squarely on Americans. "They see this is a series of possible options, incremental administrative steps that maybe lower some patients' drug costs but don't actually get at the company's abilities to set prices".

Incentives for lower list prices will include an FDA evaluation of rules that would require manufacturers to list drug prices in advertising and, later, taking measures to restrict the use of rebates, which the president identified as a major contributor to high list prices. My administration has already taken significant steps to get drug prices under control.

"It's unfair and it's ridiculous and it's not going to happen any longer", he added, indicating that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would be calling on America's trading partners to insist they pay more for prescription drugs. "By and large, the amount of money that this health system, that government and private payers are going to be spending on prescription drugs is probably not going to change significantly".

"I think it's more bark than bite", said Bettelheim.

"It's hard to know why Germany or France of Australia would agree to something like that", said Professor Jack Hoadley of Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute. Industry experts have closely scrutinized the role that pharmacy benefit managers play in the pharmaceutical supply chain.

But LeaMond noted, without criticizing the Trump proposal package, that AARP has supported letting Medicare officials negotiate for lower drug prices directly with the drug manufacturers. The annual total was a record for the group.