Opinion: Is Trump Walking Back Vows to Tackle Drug Prices?

from tHEORetically Speaking: The HealthEconomics.Com Blog at http://bit.ly/2s0cFKl on June 23, 2017 at 06:03PM

Despite Trump’s past comments suggesting he was taking aim at drugmakers over drug pricing — going so far as to say they’re “getting away with murder” — it appears he’s “about to grant them a presidential pardon,” Ed Silverman, senior writer and Pharmalot columnist, wrote in an opinion piece on STAT News.

Silverman acknowledged the proposals (first reported by Kaiser Health News) are still in the early stages, but said “they ought to revamp what they have.”

Stethoscope on money“It’s basically fluff,” Ira Loss with Washington Analysis said. “For them to really do anything meaningful requires legislation, not an executive order. And therein lies the problem — the Republicans who control the Congress don’t favor legislation.”

Silverman cites one of Trump’s proposals which would bolster drug makers’ monopoly rights overseas, allowing them to “extend patents for drugs in foreign countries.” At the heart of the proposal is an effort to alleviate what Trump calls “global freeloading” through which customers in foreign countries pay a great deal less for the same medications bought by Americans.

“That sounds like a noble idea,” Silverman writes. “After all, why should Americans shoulder more than their fair share of drug costs? But there may be a flaw in this thinking. Basically, this would allow drugmakers to maintain high prices overseas — but there is no guarantee companies would lower prices in the U.S.”

Silverman spoke with Jamie Love with Knowledge Ecology International, who said there is “zero evidence” such a proposal would lower drug prices in the U.S.

Click here to read Silverman’s full opinion piece on STAT News.