U.S. President Donald Trump held his first press conference in over a week to make an announcement on prescription drug prices as he continues to challenge the results of the 2020 Presidential election.
Trump came into office accusing pharmaceutical companies of "getting away with murder" and complaining that other countries whose governments set drug prices were taking advantage of Americans. Instead, drug companies will be encouraged to pass the discounts directly to patients at the pharmacy counter. However, some had expressed concerns that this policy could result in higher Part D premiums for beneficiaries.
One of the rules - known as the "most favored nations" rule and adamantly opposed by the pharmaceutical industry, which has vowed to sue to stop it - would tie the prices of drugs in Medicare Part B to the lower prices paid in other developed countries, many of which negotiate those prices directly with drugmakers.
"In case after case, our citizens pay massively higher prices and other nations for the same exact pill from the same factory, effectively subsidizing socialism overseas with sky rocketing prices at home", Trump said.
The third one is about ending the Unapproved Drug Initiative created to prevent the use of unapproved drugs.
Additionally, the administration said it would end the Unapproved Drug Initiative, which was created to prevent the use of unapproved drugs, but instead has allowed drugmakers to exploit older drugs that have received renewed approval and exclusivity by hiking prices.
According to the Fox report, one study found that the prices hiked by more than 1,664 percent after approval. The rules are expected to be final and follow up on executive orders that Trump signed in July and September.
The other, the "rebate" rule, would end a widespread practice in which drugmakers give rebates to insurance middlemen in government programs such as Medicare to include those drugs in their plans.
"[The measures] will completely restore the prescription drug market in terms of prices", he noted in a report. The proposal is also anathema to most congressional Republicans, who say it is akin to price controls. Trump has baselessly accused both Pfizer and the Food and Drug Administration of intentionally withholding the news until after the vote, even though Pfizer did not have access to the data until the Sunday after the election. He then urged his successor to maintain his drug price reforms. "I just hope they keep it. I hope they have the courage to keep it", he added, in an apparent reference to the incoming Biden administration, while noting the opposition from drug company lobbyists.
"The drug companies don't like me too much".
Addressing the prospect of legal battles, Azar said, "We feel that both regulations are extremely strong and any industry challenging them is declaring themselves at odds with American patients and President Trump's commitment to lowering out-of-pocket costs". The firm has already applied for emergency use authorization.
Through Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration invested billions in developing a safe vaccine, with a goal of having 300 million doses by January.