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President Announces Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices

Friday, May 18, 2018   (0 Comments)
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From U.S. Health & Human Services Department, May 11:

On May 11, President Trump announced new actions designed to drive down drug prices for all Americans. The president’s blueprint “will seek to encourage innovation, while also promoting better price competition and addressing foreign freeloading.”

Among the actions expected to be taken by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department:

  • Take steps to end the gaming of regulatory and patent processes by drug makers to unfairly protect monopolies.
  • Advance biosimilars and generics to boost price competition.
  • Evaluate the inclusion of prices in drug makers’ ads to enhance price competition.
  • Streamline and accelerate the approval process for over-the-counter drugs. 
  • Speed access to and lower the cost of new drugs by clarifying policies for sharing information between insurers and drug makers.
  • Avoid excessive pricing by relying more on value-based pricing by expanding outcome-based payments in Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Work to give Part D plan sponsors more negotiation power with drug makers.
  • Examine which Medicare Part B drugs could be negotiated for a lower price by Part D plans, and improving the design of the Part B Competitive Acquisition Program.
  • Update Medicare’s drug-pricing dashboard to increase transparency.
  • Prohibit Part D contracts that include “gag rules” that prevent pharmacists from informing patients when they could pay less out-of-pocket by not using insurance.

Find Out More about the American Patients First Blueprint

Stephen Schondelmeyer, head of the Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems at the University of Minnesota, was interviewed on CBS News https://www.cbsnews.com/news/donald-trumps-drug-plan-fact-check-freeloading-foreign-governments-extort-us-companies/ to provide analysis of the president’s proposal. "Let's assume all of the other countries in the world agreed to pay the same price we do—that doesn't guarantee or assure us that the drug company would lower the price in the U.S.," Schondelmeyer said. "There's nothing to guarantee that or require it, or an economic reason for it to happen."

Azar Shares Some Details on Trump's Drug Cost Proposals

Pharmacists Can Submit Comments through NCPA

From NCPA’s qAM, May 15: On May 14, NCPA representatives attended HHS Secretary Alex Azar's follow-up speech on President Trump's drug cost speech. To address patients paying the lowest price at the pharmacy counter, Azar said HHS will send a letter to plans to make clear that the agency finds "gag rule" practices unacceptable. Azar affirmed the agency's focus on rebates in drug pricing and again asserted the agency's authority to address and eliminate remuneration as a possible policy moving forward. Following the speech, HHS pre-published its request for information on policies recommended in the secretary's speech. The docket remains open for 60 days, and NCPA will file comments highlighting policies that are important to community pharmacists. Pre-pub docket can be found here.

FDA Kick-Starts Plans to Increase Competition in Drug Markets

From APhA’s Pharmacy Today, May 15: The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a website that provides more information on the branded drugs generic drug companies have had difficulty obtaining. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, says the site retroactively includes data on about 150 inquiries made regarding 50 brand-name medications and will be updated on an ongoing basis. This is part of the Trump administration’s overall effort to reduce drug prices.

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