What Do Trump’s Drug Pricing Orders Mean, Other than Confusion?

July 28, 2020

Consistent with the status quo chaos that surrounds the White House, the Trump Administration’s four drug pricing executive orders unveiled last Friday have sowed confusion and expose policy contradictions and glaring caveats, says Nicholas Florko of Stat’s D.C. Diagnosis.

Surprisingly, Trump proclaimed “he had supposedly struck a high-profile deal with drug makers:.  This deal included a 30-day delay before finalizing a highly-criticized policy tying Medicare payments for drugs to other countries’ drug prices. Pharma could prevent the policy from being put in place if they propose “a better idea” by August 24; otherwise, Trump stated that the administration would proceed.

“The clock starts right now,” Trump said.

STAT uncovers the most puzzling components of the drug pricing rollout.  These include the terms of the deal (and is there really a deal?), the purported end of drug rebates for common drugs (but is there a loophole?), and why the administration is directing Federally Qualified Health Centers to share discounts on insulin and EpiPens (because they already are required by law to not charge anyone who makes below the federal poverty line).

Adam Fein, CEO of Drug Channels Institute said the executive order “makes no sense” while letting the “worst abusers…off the hook.”

(Source: STAT, D.C. Diagnosis, July 28, 2020)

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