What is regulated in the decrees:
- In the future, prescription drugs may also be imported from countries where they are cheaper than in the United States – for example, from Canada.
If pharmaceutical companies give discounts on the sale of their products, middlemen should in future be obliged to pass these discounts on to patients. Such discounts on list prices have so far often been granted in exchange for preferential treatment by insurers. For this reason, insurers and the patients under contract with them rarely pay the full list price of a medication.
Insulin is also expected to become cheaper in the United States.
Medicare, a state health insurance company, is set to buy medicines in the United States at the price that other countries will pay for the same medication.
The last measure will initially not come into force, Trump announced. Negotiations with the pharmaceutical companies were planned beforehand. They asked for a meeting to discuss possible price cuts. The first meeting is scheduled for next week, but negotiations should be completed by August, the president said.
“A distraction that diminishes our skills”
Trump’s push has met with little favor in the pharmaceutical industry. The decrees are merely “a distraction that diminishes our ability to respond to the current pandemic – and to those we may face in the future,” said the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America umbrella organization.
In any case, many observers doubt that the President’s plans will actually be implemented. “We believe that they are more likely to target discussion points for his election campaign than real, tangible effects,” said RBC Capital Markets stock exchange and medical analyst Brian Abrahams.