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Politics / Press Releases

Trump Administration Makes Bold Move to Help Lower Drug Prices for Seniors

PBM China vitamins medicine drug prices medications pain relief lower prices Trump pills pharma programs millions vitamins supplementsWASHINGTON, DC – President Trump made good on his campaign promise to address the issue of skyrocketing prescription drug prices with decisive action yesterday by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Inspector General Daniel Levinson. A proposed rule change will help lower prescription drug prices by encouraging drug manufacturers to offer discounts directly to patients.

AMAC notes how the present drug pricing system has drug companies offering rebates and other payments to Pharmacy Benefit Mangers (PBMs) with virtually no discounts or cost savings passed to seniors. The present drug pricing system actually rewards higher drug prices, benefits middlemen, and needlessly drives up patients’ costs. The new rule would create more competition between drug companies and allow for lower prices and reduced out-of-pocket costs to be passed directly to patients.

According to HHS, the new proposal, “…would expressly exclude from safe harbor protection under the Anti-Kickback Statute rebates on prescription drugs paid by manufacturers to pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), Part D plans and Medicaid managed care organizations.”
AMAC applauds a bold, long overdue move to help seniors who bear the brunt of high drug costs. The seniors organization will submit comments in support in support of the proposed rule on behalf of its 1.6 million members throughout the nation.

“This new rule breaks open a decades old, secret drug pricing system that benefits big drug companies, PBMs and others at the expense of seniors,” said Weber. “We fully support changes to allow drug discounts to be offered directly to seniors and begin a new era of transparency to a dark, corrupt, backroom drug pricing system,” Weber added.

“AMAC urges Democrats and Republicans to work quickly and collectively to support the effort to address unreasonably high prescription drug prices. This proposal represents the most significant change to a broken drug pricing system in our history,” Weber said.

The Trump Administration has also called for additional ways to address high drug prices including a requirement to list drug prices in TV ads, increasing discounts within Medicare, and promoting lower cost generic drugs.

Read the HHS discount policy fact sheet here: https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/20190131-fact-sheet.pdf

ABOUT AMAC

The Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] [https://www.amac.us] is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members.  We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today.  Live long and make a difference by joining us today at https://amac.us/join-amac.


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Louann
3 years ago

My uncle was a veterinarian and I remember many years ago him telling my mom “most of the medicines we have available for animals are the same medications used by people at half the cost”. There was price gouging over 40 years ago, politicians will make money and keep power anyway they can.

Patty
3 years ago

Indeed! Congress needs to pass legislation reducing drug costs to seniors and everyone. Drug make multiplied billions off the ailing and broken bodies or our citizens. It’s unconscionable. As Medicare has done with doctors and hospitals, it should be able to negotiate reduced prices on drugs, saving not only seniors but also our government tax dollars.

James Knight
3 years ago
Reply to  Patty

Some Congress goes into office worth very little but in a few years they are millionaires. THAT should show you the problem. No legal way to make that kind of gains

Anthony Donadio
3 years ago

Why cant I download your articles

chuck spencer
3 years ago

FYI I am a Pharmacist– The rebate situation is why we have such high prices. A rebate in any other business is called an illegal kickback, because that is what it is. We need to go back to the true cost of the drug not some made up cost figure that rebates are then applied to. I cannot even tell you the true cost of a drug I dispense. The Third Party Payers are the ones that have caused all this. When they first started they said they would control the cost of drugs. Now they are the major profitteers. Just look at the salaries of their executives.

Evelyn Molthan
3 years ago

I have never seen good results when the government gets involved with price controls. Drug companies spend billions in R&D. They also help people get drugs when one can not afford their medication.

Patsy Thurmond
3 years ago
Reply to  Evelyn Molthan

They don’t help Seniors on a tight budget. We can’t use coupons like everyone else. The price hikes on drugs that are over 20 years old are ridiculous. Insulin for instance and that is just one drug.

Elaine
3 years ago

I agree about the lower prices for sr. but also for disabled individuals not of sr age that need certain meds to function like parkinson’s

David Fisher
3 years ago

As a physician, I am appalled by the wanton inflation of drug prices. Albuterol is an important medication for asthmatics. I used to buy albuterol tablets as a generic from a pharmacy supplier for $11 per 100 ct bottle. This supplier now charges $606 for the same size bottle. That is an obscene rate of inflation- soon it may overtake the inflation rate in Venezuela (haha). This is still for the generic version that I bought a very few years ago. President Trump is trying to reverse some of this price gouging, but a number of legislators in Congress are ‘in bed with’ the pharmaceutical companies. The greatest price increases occurred during the Obama era- I wonder how much they donated to him and to Hillary???

Dan W.
3 years ago
Reply to  David Fisher

You are right on the money (no pun intended) that a number of legislators in Congress are ‘in bed with’ the pharmaceutical companies. And both political parties are collecting big time.

Will Nancy and Mitch put legislation on the President’s desk to allow the biggest purchaser of drugs (Medicare) to negotiate drug prices with the drug companies ? I doubt it but until they do, we must be content with these efforts that nibble around the edges of runaway drug costs.

Uncle willie
3 years ago
Reply to  David Fisher

David that is why Obama came in making a small check and him and Hilary left with millions.

Avery Brinkley Jr. MD
3 years ago

Just because drug companies are prohibited from giving discounts to intermediaries does not force them to offer them to seniors (unless I missed something here). The drug company lobby is powerful and I see nothing here which reduces costs to patients.

Darlene
3 years ago

I have found that all these wonderful manufacturers coupons that make a $300. prescription cost $30. are not allowed to be used if you have medicare or even medicare advantage. Will this remove that problem? I am very tired of paying $300 for a medicine that someone younger, not on a fixed income, and is working, can get for $30. I end up going without a medicine I need.

Kaye
3 years ago

In 1997 I paid $4.00 for insulin for my mother in law. Today I pay over $600.00 for the same prescription. I know it’s been over 20 years. But. That’s a lot of difference.

Chuck
3 years ago
Reply to  Kaye

It’s called getting ripped off. If it can be stopped, it must be stopped.

Joy
3 years ago

Also, generic drugs are being brought in from Other countries with no regulation. Medicare forces those on unsuspecting seniors in order to keep costs down. Stop those as well and regulate pharmaceutical companies better in order to stop the financial perks to legislators, driving costs through the roof for people on fixed incomes.

Richard Carroll
3 years ago

But is this gong to raise the premium one must pay for part D?? What is the net result?

Dan W.
3 years ago

Nice try but if we really want to take a bite out of drug prices, Congress needs to allow the CMS (a/k/a Medicare) to negotiate drug prices with the drug companies.

Uncle willie
3 years ago
Reply to  Dan W.

If you don’t try you will never know.If enough people talk they will listen.

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