Prescription Drugs

Trump’s four executive orders to lower drug prices: What to know

President Trump issued a handful of executive orders Friday that aim to lower prescription drug prices through a variety of methods, including allowing medications to be imported from other countries. “I’m signing four sweeping executive orders that will lead to a massive reduction in drugs costs,” Trump said during a press briefing at the White House. “[The measures] will completely restore the prescription drug market in terms of prices.” Trump claimed drug prices had fallen under his administration for the first time in more than five decades but added that he was determined to do more. One of the orders introduced Friday would deliver rebates from drug companies directly to patients for insulin and Epipens in a bid to prevent providers from pocketing the discounts themselves while charging low-income patients unaffordable prices. Trump said the price of insulin would come down to “pennies” per day. The second order would allow wholesalers and pharmacies to legally import prescription drugs from Canada and other countries, where the president has repeatedly alleged identical drugs are available at costs as much as 90 percent lower than in the U.S. The third order would bypass pharmacy benefit managers and other “middlemen” to deliver discounts for prescription drugs directly to patients. Trump said Friday that patients often never see these discounts from the manufacturer. A final “favored nations” policy would require Medicare to purchase drugs at the same prices paid by foreign countries, which Trump said will prevent the U.S. from continuing to subsidize the cost of research and development for the entire world. Medicare will leverage its purchasing power to negotiate prices – the goal would be to find a middle ground with other countries that allegedly pay less for the same prescription drugs. This order will not be signed until the end of August, which would give the country’s largest companies time to come up with alternative solutions.

Great news!!!     🙂

Sen. Tom Cotton: ‘It’s crazy’ that we depend on ‘an enemy of the United States’ for ‘basic pharmaceuticals’

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said Wednesday that the coronavirus pandemic underscores the importance of securing America’s medical supply chain and ramping up production of life-saving medicines to end the long-time reliance on the Chinese government. “The Chinese Communist Party unleashed this plague on the world that turned what could have been a local health problem in Wuhan into a global pandemic,” Cotton told “Hannity.” Wednesday. “But,” he continued, “that’s exactly what the Chinese Communist Party has always done. It’s dishonest, it’s corrupt, and it’s an enemy of the United States.” The spread of the virus has highlighted some experts’ long-held worries about U.S. “over-reliance” on Chinese pharmaceutical production. America essentially ceased domestic production of penicillin in around 2004 — a move which was applauded as a way to save money on generic drugs, but has been the source of much concern in recent years. “It’s one thing to have jobs that make lawn chairs or toy trinkets in China. It’s another thing to make basic pharmaceuticals that we need, like antibiotics or penicillin, buprofen, advil. It’s crazy that we are dependent upon China, a country that at this very moment is still threatening to withhold those critical medical supplies from the United States.,” Cotton said. “That’s why it has to end and we have to bring the pharmaceutical manufacturing capability back to the United States.”

Agreed 100%!!  Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) is exactly right here.  For more, scroll down and read the following article, which gives Sen. Cotton’s position some historical context.

Drug costs are ‘absolutely’ dropping and ‘much more is coming,’ HHS Secretary Alex Azar says

 

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Friday said drug costs are “absolutely” coming down. “For the first time in 46 years, last year, the official measure of prescription drug pricing went down. We saved tax payers $26 billion just in the first 18 months of this administration from our generic drug approvals – we are charging ahead – we are getting drug prices down and much more is coming,” he told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney. President Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Monday on health care price transparency. Although Azar remained silent on what the exact policy will be, he said, “The president did say recently that something big was coming in the next couple of weeks of health care and I would take him at his word.” Azar also said that he sent a letter to the White House Friday morning on proposed regulations to set up an international pricing index regime to decrease the price of drugs in the U.S. President Trump last year took measures to end “foreign free riding” by other nations in a Medicare price revamp.

Trump strikes big HIV drug deal to knock out virus

Gilead Sciences, the maker of HIV prevention drug Truvada, is sending the United States a very big gift. It will be donating enough supply to support Trump’s initiative that seeks to eliminate transmission of the virus within the next decade. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar believes this is where having President Trump as “the deal master in charge” bears fruit for taxpayers. “We’ve got a team here that’s really focused on how can we deliver … this agenda that the president has set out to end the HIV epidemic in the United States within the next 10 years,” he explained to FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Friday. “And as part of that, a key part of that, is for people who are at risk of contracting HIV, they need to be on this drug called PrEP.” The drug, which costs $20,000 per year, can help reduce the risk of HIV infection by 97 percent when taken daily and combined with safer sex practices. “What we’ve been able to do is negotiate a donation — a donation by Gilead of enough drugs to care for 200,000 people every single year for up to 2030 — so billions of dollars of donations to the U.S. that will be devoted to the uninsured and those who can’t afford access to this medicine,” Azar explained.