Trump prescription plan doesn't include Medicare-negotiated pricing

Donald Trump

President TrumpDonald John TrumpRomney denounces pastor slated to speak at USA embassy in Jerusalem Pentagon finds problems with Kushner-backed health program: report Apple CEO Tim Cook praises Parkland, "Me Too" activists in commencement speech MORE's health secretary pushed back Monday at critics who said Trump's drug pricing plan moved away from his campaign pledge of having Medicare negotiate drug prices.

Statements made by the President were that "Everyone involved in the broken system - the drugmakers, insurance companies, distributions, pharmacy-benefit managers and many others - contribute to the problem", also adding that "Government has also been part of the problem because previous leaders turned a blind eye to this incredible abuse". Reported by Thomson Reuters Datastream, the S&P 500 is now trading at 16 times expected earnings which is its lowest double digit over the last two years.

According to the economic report of the President's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) published in late February, many artificially high prices result from government policies that prevent healthy price competition. "This is the boldest approach to the drug channel and drug pricing and drug affordability in history".

"I think very expensive champagne will be popping in drug company boardrooms across the country tonight", said Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings.

But the blueprint did not call for Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices, an idea the Indian industry had feared all along.

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Trump said in his speech at the Rose Garden of the White House.

The S&P 500 healthcare index rose 1 percent on Monday, outpacing a 0.5 percent increase for the broader S&P 500.

That is where India comes, as there is a huge gap in prices of pharmaceutical drugs between India and the US.

Seeking to fulfill his longstanding promise to lower drug prices, President Donald Trump laid out his vision for increasing competition, reducing regulations and changing the incentives for all players in the pharmaceutical industry.

Medicare is a national health insurance program administered by the USA federal government.

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They negotiate rebates with drug manufacturers, and then they take a share of it. PBMs are alleged for keeping the drug prices higher, while not passing on the rebates to patients. The administration is proposing that Medicaid prices be discounted based on the private sector cost.

Some of the administration's longer-term priorities include restricting use of rebates, creating incentives for drugmakers to lower list prices, and investigating tools to address foreign government practices that it said could be harming innovation and driving up US prices. "There are a bunch of smaller technical changes", said Sam Richardson, Associate Professor of Economics at Boston College.

Health and Human Secretary Alex Azar said the document includes more than 50 measures that his agency has already put into action or has planned, although some will require new legislation.

"If we want to have a real market for drugs, why not have them disclose their prices in the ads too", Azar said. He said it would take years to restructure the US drug system. He also cited supply chain middlemen for getting "very rich" under the current system and promised regulatory and legislative changes to address the status quo.

His remarks follow a renewed focus on the influence of the drugmaker lobby, which spends the most of any lobbying group in Washington. Recent reports also showed that Swiss drug maker Novartis paid former Trump attorney Michael Cohen $1.2 million in "consulting" fees in 2017.

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