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Trump Proposes Widespread Changes to Reduce Drug Prices

Jason Harris
Published: Friday, May 11, 2018

In a move that drew cautious responses from oncology groups and patient advocates, President Donald Trump announced a sweeping “blueprint” to lower prescription drug costs, promising to expand access to generic drugs and biosimilars and remove incentives that keep drug prices high.

, includes 50 different actions and proposals based on 4 key strategies:
  • Increase competition
  • Encourage drug price negotiation
  • Create incentives to lower list prices
  • Lower out-of-pocket costs
Azar said efforts would also be made to boost the availability of and awareness about biosimilars, which are similar-to-but-cheaper than brand-name products. “We need a vital and vibrant generic industry and generic drug market,” he said. “We need to foster and nurture a new, competitive biosimilar drug market.” Just a handful of biosimilars—defined as biological products that are similar or interchangeable with an FDA-licensed biological product—have been approved for cancer treatment by the FDA.

The blueprint does not include a proposal allowing Medicare to directly negotiate drug prices, a promise Trump campaigned on in 2016. Instead, the administration wants to move high-cost drugs into the Medicare Part D program and give plan sponsors “significantly” more power to negotiate with manufacturers.
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