President Trump’s Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices, which was outlined in his speech on Friday, sets the stage for reforming drug markets and reducing drug prices, increasing price transparency and promoting competition. The “plan of attack” surprisingly did not include enabling Medicare to negotiate drug prices given that President Trump has repeatedly criticized the policy that prohibits negotiations. Moreover, 92 percent of Americans favor reversing this ban, according to a 2017 Kaiser Family Foundation survey.
The Blueprint did touch upon several other policy changes that Americans generally support. Without more specifics, it’s difficult to assess their viability or determine the implications. However, providers should pay attention to four proposals in particular:
- Evaluate the inclusion of prices in drug makers’ ads to enhance price competition.
- Examine which Medicare Part B drugs could be negotiated for a lower price by Part D plans.
- Advance generics to boost price competition.
- Advance biosimilars to boost price competition.
Read President Trump’s briefing statement here.
In related news, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued Monday a policy statement and request for information (RFI) on ways to lower drug prices and reduce out-of-pocket costs for consumers, which closely aligns with President Trump’s blueprint.
The RFI solicits input, within 60 days, on potential changes that would directly impact hospitals. Click here to read the American Hospital Association’s Special Bulletin that summarizes the RFI.