Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

New US drug laws might raise Indian medicines prices

New US drug laws might raise Indian medicines prices

Trump had attacked prescription drug companies for high drug prices during his election campaign. 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.

The blueprint, which raised a series of questions about the drug-pricing chain and touted Trump's previous budget initiatives aimed at Medicare Part D reform, moved away from numerous specific proposals he touted while campaigning. The sigh of relief could be heard throughout industry and the investment community, providing a lift for industry stock prices.

Unsurprisingly, Trump's plan faced a backlash from the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). And it will develop options to lower patients' out-of-pocket spending.

The list prices of drugs have skyrocketed in the last few decades. The President also called for the USA trade representative to address this "injustice" in trade discussion with all trading partners.

"The only way that direct negotiation saves money is by doing something this administration does not believe in: denying access to certain medicines for all Medicare beneficiaries, or setting prices for drugs by government fiat", Azar continued.

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.

Instead, the administration would seek to allow private sector payers to negotiate the price of those medicines, as they do in Medicare Part D, which covers drugs that patients pick up at the pharmacy.

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"As several outlets have noted, the president's previous call to have Medicare negotiate the price of prescription drugs is gone, although the blueprint does include the report on the relationship between Part B drugs and Part D drugs".

The Trump administration also wants to boost pharmaceutical price competition by facilitating the timely development of biosimilars, and working to streamline and accelerate the approval process for over-the-counter drugs.

As part of the plan, Azar said they would look into having the FDA require disclosure of prices in advertisements. Implementing such a program, though, raises many questions about what pricing data would be disclosed and under what authority. The White House plan further supports FDA policies for developing more complex generic dosage forms and for deterring brand firms from blocking generic-drug makers from access to innovator products needed for bioequivalence testing.

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. In the plan's outline, 340B is mentioned twice: first suggesting 340B hospitals use their discounts on care for low-income and vulnerable patients, along with a budget proposal ensure hospitals providing more than 1 percent of their patient costs in charity care retain their 340B discounts.

Most of Trump's proposals in Friday speech focused on the middlemen who negotiate drug costs on behalf of insurance companies.

Prohibit Part D contracts from preventing pharmacists from telling patients when they could pay less out-of-pocket by not using insurance; improve the usefulness of the Part D Explanation of Benefits statement by including information about drug price increases and lower cost alternatives. "This is the boldest approach to the drug channel and drug pricing and drug affordability in history".

Mitchell and Levitt both doubt that drug companies can be shamed into lowering prices and losing profit.

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