President Trump will make a twice-late speech on drug prices on Friday afternoon. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)
President Trump will deliver a twice-delayed, much-anticipated speech on his plan to lower drug prices on Friday afternoon – after a year when the harsh rhetoric against the drug makers was accompanied by little action has been.
No one with a share of drug prices – whether pharmaceutical companies, pharmacy use managers negotiating drug prices, or health insurers – feels perfectly well, given Trump's tendency to disappear – including at that time he accused the drug companies "getting away with murder." Government has been spending the last few weeks pointing out the policies it supports – including a slew of technical proposals that are unlikely to jeopardize the pharmaceutical industry, which seems most at risk from any plan – lower drug prices
A senior administration official who talked about the background said Trump would unveil an "American Patients First" draft he said that there would also be a request for information on ideas for lowering drug prices.
The administration official said that he drew not only from the ideas in Trump's budget, but also from Trump's budget. The draft would outline four strategies, most of which could be achieved without new legislation. The aim would be to increase competition by ending "the game of rules" by branded manufacturers, which prevents the introduction of cost-saving generics and biosimilars. The plan would seek to improve negotiations within the Medicare program, but not by using the government's influence to negotiate for Medicare, as Trump had previously suggested. It would create unspecific incentives for lower list prices of drugs and would lower patient spending.
"What I hear is that they look for a clean slate and take care of everyone: the drug companies" The pharmacy use managers, all, "said a healthcare lobbyist who spoke on condition of anonymity to speak openly. Several health policy experts said they expect policymakers to target some of the costs. Englisch: emagazine.credit-suisse.com/app/art … = 263 & lang = en
"Let's be very clear, the government has a number of different proposals under the title: Things that … German: would deal with the pricing of medicines. None of them would influence the underlying causes of the problem, "said Rachel Sachs, a law faculty lecturer at Washington University School of Law." Most of them would do very little for the 100 to 200 million Americans who are privately insured.
With the caveat that anything could happen, here are some things to look out for on Friday:
High list prices of drugs are first on the list of health problems and human services Secretary Alex Azar has in the Commissioner for Food and Drug Control, Scott Gottlieb, recently caused a stir when he suggested that the government re-examine whether pharmaceutical manufacturers' discounts on these list prices are kickbacks. Industry, the so-called Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), are governed by applicable law not as kickbacks.
Due to the system's lack of transparency, it is impossible to tell who benefits from discounts. PBMs argue that discounts are the strongest mechanism to lower drug prices and deliver valuable savings. Pharmaceutical companies – and some insurers and employers – have increasingly lost patience with the opaque system, accusing PBMs of collecting discounts.
In his speech Gottlieb seemed to open up the possibility of abolishing discounts. But most people expect something far less radical and instead expect that every political solution will concentrate on solving the problem of two prices: reducing the spread between a high list price and the secret, counterfeit price.
"The price mechanisms are mysterious They are not easy to understand and there are many different prices along the way – and different people touch the drug in different places in the system," said Dan Mendelson, President of Avalere Health. "It's all sanctioned by law, but not transparent to consumers, so we're striving for more transparency for the consumer."
During his presidential campaign, Trump called on the government to use its clout to negotiate Medicare drug prices, but high-ranking ones Government officials said he would not demand this change – which is sharply rejected by pharmaceutical companies. The administrators did not set any specific guidelines, but in his budget Trump suggested changes to the Medicare benefits. For example, the budget provided that prescription drugs should be handled more flexibly to exclude drugs and do better business.
The budget also proposed to postpone some medications given by doctors, including expensive drugs for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, or multiple sclerosis in prescription drug plans. Health politicians say that the devil is in the details, but point out that consumer effects can vary greatly depending on drugs, health plans and other policy changes. Some consumers may be able to pay more for medicines because co-pay and coinsurance work in the prescription drug plans.
"The rationale is a more competitive model … you get mechanisms like discounts and you have the PBMs and plans negotiating," said Kim Monk, a managing director at Capital Alpha Partners. "But the problem – one of the problems with the transition – is that it's difficult."
- The other countries pay more
Azar said in a speech on Wednesday that other countries are "free of American investment in innovation" A reference to the United States, "which paid much more for drugs than many other developed countries High government officials did not explain how the government could achieve its goal, and some experts have pointed out that it is not clear that such a change would result in lower prices for American consumers.
Many people expect changes to the Medicare prescription Drugs outlined in Trump's budget that could isolate seniors from high drug costs These changes include a limit on the cost of out-of-pocket expenses that would help people with very high-priced specialty medicines The government has also spent months examining the idea of negotiated discounts on prices for seniors at the Ap to distribute a pharmacy.
These changes could help individual seniors. A Johns Hopkins analysis found that, on average, the savings made by providing discounts to seniors would be $ 264 over the course of a year, but these benefits would be concentrated on the small proportion of people taking very expensive medicines. It is also projected to increase the premiums.
"Much of what they focus on is not really the price of pharmaceuticals, as much as patient payouts at the pharmacy," said Craig Garthwaite, associate professor of strategy at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. "They do not really think about the price of the system with these proposals – they think about the price for the patient, or – more cynically – they think about the price for the voter."
After more than a year of waiting for one clear political direction of Trump's disastrous statements about drug prices, the industry is working up. Some insiders noted that this is not a lack of communication – ideas about drug prices come in daily from management executives. But little concrete policy has been suggested to support the lecture, the tension over what is being said, and questions about whether it will go on.
"I think the mood, just general, in healthcare is" watch and wait, "said Mark Merritt, president of the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, the lobby for pharmacy usage managers.