Americans have been listening to politicians for years to talk about high prescription drug prices and how it is one of the main problems in health care. Now, President Trump is talking about it a great deal as well. But the Trump Administration isn’t just talking; they are delivering results that will benefit Americans and lower drug costs.
According to American Patients First blueprint, the problem is:
TODAY’S COMPLEX U.S. PHARMACEUTICAL MARKET is characterized by high and rising list prices, increasing consumer out-of pocket costs, and a new era of high-cost drugs lacking competition. Recent developments and challenges in the market include a business model built on opaque rebates and discounts that favor high list prices, a generational loss of patent exclusivity, the Affordable Care Act’s taxes, rebates, and expansion of the 340B drug discount program, expansion of international price controls, government programs lacking modern negotiation tools, and changes in insurance benefit design that shifted the burden of rising prices to consumers.
President Trump and Alex Azar, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, announced a little over a year ago the American Patients First blueprint. This blueprint is meant to lower drug prices and reduce out of pocket costs on prescription drugs and is a more determined plan put forth than any other administration to date. Over the last year, the Trump administration has delivered on these promises by producing more changes to drug pricing than any president has done before him.
One big change happening is that drug companies will now be required to include the list of drug prices in their ads. When you see a drug ad now, it will be more than drug companies telling you to consult your doctor without any inkling on how much it will cost. Now, before you pay for an appointment, you will know the actual price of the drug is going to be. This is a very significant step. American patients have a right to know the price of a drug before receiving it.
President Trump’s blueprint also promises more competition, tougher negotiation, lower list prices, and lower out of pocket costs. In the last year since the blueprint was announced, the president has produced results on all four goals. They have approved a records number of low-cost generic drugs including a generic version of the ever-expensive EpiPen and a generic competitor to the asthma inhaler. They have brought new negotiation tools to Medicare advantage in order to lower drug prices for patients. They have also implemented a requirement that every Medicare Part D plan offers a tool that allows you and your physician to figure out your coverage options and out of pocket costs of prescriptions before they are prescribed to you.
Documented in the APF blueprint, President Trump said:
One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs. In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States. That is why I have directed my Administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities. Prices will come down.
With these plans, Trump truly wants to provide patients with the knowledge you need to get your medications at a reasonable price while continuing to preserve access to different options. The Trump administration believes that the patient needs to be put in control in order to continue to bring down drug prices.