In July, President Trump sent a warning to the pharma industry. It had until August 24 to propose ideas to lower drug costs, or the Trump administration would implement a policy tying U.S. prices to international drug prices.
August 24 came and went, but neither the industry nor the Trump administration made moves. The next day, the industry trade group PhRMA circulated its counter offer.
The group proposed a 10% cut to prices for physician-administered drugs in Medicare Part B, according to reports. PhRMA said the proposal would save more than $100 billion over a decade.
For comparison, the Trump administration’s international pricing index proposal was projected to save Medicare and Medicaid programs more than $17 billion over its first five years, and more than $50 billion in its first eight years.
The second part of PhRMA’s plan would place a cap on the 5% cost-sharing for patients in the Medicare Part D outpatient prescription drug program. PhRMA also promised the industry would work with government agencies on pricing reforms to Medicare Part B and Part D in the future.
The industry has always been against proposals to link U.S. drug costs to international prices. It has argued that these proposals would limit access to new drugs in the U.S.
Instead, the industry has pushed for market-based tactics to lower costs, like introducing more biosimilars and generics that promote greater competition.
Another one of President Trump’s drug pricing actions in July included an executive order to allow drug importation, another idea PhRMA has opposed.
In the order, President Trump directed the Department of Health and Human Services to begin the rulemaking process to allow importation from Canada, authorize the re-importation of insulin products and provide waivers to individuals allowing them to buy drugs from other countries.
Ahead of the election, President Trump is continuing to tout his efforts to lower drug costs, including these recent drug price executive orders and tough rhetoric against the pharma industry. But it seems the industry is continuing to put up a fight against proposals like international pricing and drug importation.