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President Trump lays out his vision for lower drug prices

President Trump lays out his vision for lower drug prices

President Donald Trump is calling on America's pharmaceutical companies to lower prices. In reality, it is entirely in line with the financial interests of the drug companies and health insurers and will do virtually nothing to stop their profit-gouging.

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), which represents PBMs, was largely supportive of Trump's blueprint, but argued its members aren't to blame for high prices. "We have not seen anything about that speech which should concern investors", Ronny Gall, a security analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, told the New York Times.

But these PBMs - which have gained increasing influence as they've been acquired by pharmacies and insurers in recent years - didn't appear to suffer on Wall Street. Drug maker Pfizer's shares rose 1.3 percent, while Merck's stock increased 2.8 percent.

According to Trump's speech, the American Patients First plan immediate as well as future actions to bring down the price of drugs as well as reduce the out-of-pocket expenditure for patients.

Indian courts and patent office in the past have invalidated or rejected patents of some important drugs like hepatitis-C drug Sovaldi and cancer drug Gleevac and have once used compulsory licensing to allow generic competition. In his speech, Trump also mentioned ending "dishonest double-dealing" where PBMs don't pass on rebates meant for patients. "Right now in Part B, essentially as soon as a drug is approved by the FDA, it's covered", Azar explained in his speech. The new trade policies will work on making this price gap small.

"Drug prices, for example, are sometimes artificially high due to government regulations that raise prices", stated the CEA report.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar dismissed the idea - backed by many Democrats - that Medicare can save money by negotiating directly with drug companies. In the first three months of this year, the industry has already spent almost $10 million for lobbying.

But Trump's blueprint did include changes to Medicare that could lower out-of-pocket costs for some seniors: a suggestion that drugmakers disclose their list prices in TV ads and a discussion about changing the system of secret rebates negotiated off the list prices of drugs, mthe Post's Carolyn Y. Johnson reported.

Catalonia: Pro-independence candidate wins presidency
Barroso said the ERC wants a moderate approach to avoid a Madrid clampdown and to play a longer independence game. During that speech, he lambasted European institutions for their "unacceptable silence" over the Catalan crisis.

Earlier this week, Swiss drugmaker Novartis admitted it paid $1.2 million to a consulting firm created by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

Removing the middlemen: The Trump administration will work on eliminating the middlemen from the business.

Politico's Joanne Kenen: "Key phrase from PBM trade group (which is battling the drugmakers) on trump's drug price proposals: 'Simply put, the easiest way to lower costs would be for drug companies to lower their prices". Some states negotiate supplemental discounts for certain drugs. The sigh of relief could be heard throughout industry and the investment community, providing a lift for industry stock prices.

America has the highest drug prices in the world.

"The prices of generic drugs have already bottomed out in U.S. and there isn't anything in the Trump's blueprint that Indian drug makers should be rattled about, " said said Amey Chalke, pharma analyst with HDFC Securities.

The president does want stricter policing of delay tactics, to make advertisements more transparent about pricing, and to stifle gag clauses that prevent some consumers from learning about rebates and lower-priced drug alternatives.

"President Trump offered little more than window dressing to combat the rising cost of drugs-a problem that is pinching the pocketbook of far too many Americans", Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said after the speech.

Instead, the intention is to give new powers to Medicare's private prescription drug plans (Part D) to do so, with a report to be sent to the White House "on whether lower prices on some Medicare Part B drugs could be negotiated for by Part D plans".


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