On Sunday, President Donald Trump signed a new order to significantly reduce the costs of prescription drugs in the country.
…and prices are coming down FAST! Also just ended all rebates to middlemen, further reducing prices.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 13, 2020
According to the document, Health and Human Services must now test a payment model that will be used for Medicare to ensure we are paying “no more than the most-favored-nation price.” The translation is that our quoted prices must be equal to or better than prescription drug prices for any developed country.
For years, Democrats have been complaining about prescription drug prices, but have done little about it. After eight years with President Barak Obama in office, prescription drug prices were still climbing — a major sore spot for Americans, especially those without a prescription plan.
The problem, however, is that those not on Medicare will not benefit from this legislation.
Democrats criticize order
This is something Democrats are likely to attack rather than looking at this as a piece of stepping-stone legislation that could open the door to blanket repricing.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) criticized the order, stating, “Trump aims to make a misleading headline for his failing campaign, not a genuine difference for victims of price gouging.”
This order was part of a series of orders that Trump had signed in late July.
Trump had hoped that the pharma industry would come to the table to negotiate better pricing and this order would not have to be signed, but the pharma industry balked at the time and refused to come to the table, claiming these orders would significantly impact the industry.
Big Pharma objects
In fact, the pharma industry announced it plans a significant pushback on the new order as well.
Michelle McMurry-Heath, CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, stated, “With scientists and researchers at America’s biopharmaceutical companies working around the clock to fight a deadly pandemic, it is simply dumbfounding that the Trump administration would move forward with its threat to import foreign price controls and the inevitable delays to innovation that will follow.”
Their plea, however, will fall on deaf ears both in the White House and among the general public, because Americans have been getting raked over the coals regarding drug prices for decades.