Since he took office, President Donald Trump has frequently stated that he wants to reduce the costs of prescription drugs for the American people but has received very little legislative assistance in that regard from Congress.
However, the president has made progress on the issue through the use executive and regulatory action, and on Friday he announced two more achievements on prescription drug pricing that should help save the American people billions of dollars, Breitbart reported.
Trump, along with Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, announced the regulations in the White House briefing room on Friday.
Both achievements began as executive orders issued in July that, due to statutory processes, have just now become new regulations that are set to take effect on Jan. 1.
The first new regulation aims to cut out the “middleman” in the prescription drug market in a way that will pass on manufacturer discounts and rebates directly to the patients, which could save an average of 30% in overall costs.
The other regulation pertains to what is known as “most favored nation” status, which would allow Medicare to purchase drugs at the same low costs paid by other economically and medically advanced nations.
In a statement from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the group said that “all options to stop this reckless attack on the companies working around the clock to beat COVID-19″ are on the table,” according to Associated Press.
Won’t bow to big pharma
“Nobody has ever done this,” Trump said during the briefing. “The drug companies don’t like me too much, but we had to do it. It took a long time before we were able to do this because, statutorily, we had to go through a process.”
He continued, “But they’ll — there’ll never be anything like this. I just hope they keep it. I hope they have the courage to keep it, because the powerful drug lobby — Big Pharma — is putting pressure on people like you wouldn’t believe.”
The president also announced that his administration had taken action to end what is called the “Unapproved Drugs Initiative” — a program that allowed for widely available generic drugs to be claimed by a company, rebranded to “obtain market exclusivity” and then raise prices.
“For generations, the American people have been abused by big pharma and their army of lawyers, lobbyists, and bought-and-paid-for politicians,” Trump said, decrying the demanded loyalty to special interests. “I have been loyal to our patients and our people that need drugs — prescription drugs — and devoted myself completely to fighting for the American people. You see that. This is not an easy thing to do.”
The president also spent time recounting some of his other achievements with regard to reducing the costs of prescription drugs, such as allowing the importation of inexpensive drugs from Canada, capping the price of insulin and EpiPens for seniors, reducing premiums for Medicare Part D, and lifting an old “gag rule” on pharmacists that prevented them from informing customers how to obtain cheaper medications.