The long-promised plan by the Trump administration to reduce the cost of drugs might actually spare the pharmaceutical sector due to the fact that it has concentrated on more openness and private competition to reduce the prescription pain of America.
Notably missing from the plan is the campaign pledge to exploit the massive bargaining power of the government-run Medicare program to force lower drug prices for senior citizens. This is an idea that Democrats have supported for a long time though it has received opposition from most Republicans and drugmakers.
Most of what is contained in the plan is expected to take a long time before it is implemented. None of the proposed ideas will prevent pharmaceutical firms from setting initial prices that are sky-high.
“There are some things in this set of proposals that can move us in the direction of lower prices for some people. At the same time, it is not clear at all how they are going to lower list prices,” Patients for Affordable Drugs’ founder, David Mitchell, said.
Part of the reason for the high drug prices in the United States is that the prices are not regulated by the government and thus the market is charged what it can bear. Some of the proposals that have been put out by the Trump administration include requiring drugmakers to reveal how much their drugs cost in television ads.
Another proposal will outlaw a gag rule which has prevented druggists from informing their customers when it is possible to generate savings by not paying using their insurance but rather by paying in cash. The Trump administration has also proposed that with regards to over-the-counter medications, the approval process be speeded up in order to allow more people to purchase more drugs without being required to have a prescription.
No relief yet
While the proposals will prevent a confrontation with lobbyists they are underwhelming to the Americans who was lower drug prices in the face of escalating prescription costs. As Democrats criticized the proposals as being ineffective, there was relief from the pharmaceutical giants and their shares rose after the proposals were made public.
A poll conducted recently by Kaiser Family Foundation indicated that lowering of prescription drug prices by the passage of laws should be the top priority of the U.S. Congress and the president. During his campaign for president Trump regularly railed against drugmakers but as president he has adopted a mainstream Republican approach.