The Trump administration is getting ready to put out an executive order on drug pricing that might look a lot different from President Donald Trump’s earlier remarks about the pharmaceutical industry.
Later in January, Trump met with the heads of pharma companies, where he reiterated his interest in bringing drug prices down in the US. In March, Trump also tweeted that he’s working on “a new system where there will be competition in the drug industry.” Since then, Trump hasn’t said much on the topic.
The “Drug Pricing and Innovation Working Group,” a group of officials from the Trump administration, have been meeting every two weeks to talk about drug pricing. The group’s led by Joe Grogan, an associate director at the Office of Management and Budget who up until March worked for Gilead Sciences.
Here’s what’s to expect out of the cooled down executive order.
- The group wants to extend overseas patents, which would give drugmakers longer periods of exclusivity before generic drugs come to the market. It also wants to promote competition in the US through changes to the regulatory system and reimbursements for medications. The group has chatted about value-based pricing, a concept in which prescriptions are paid for based on how well they work, rather than on a per-pill basis. The group considered setting up Treasury bonds to pay for expensive treatments that have led to only the sickest patients receiving treatment because of the high cost in recent years. Some of the text used in the working group’s documents has been lifted from papers written by the drug industry’s lobby the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (or PhRMA). Other documents from the working group discuss being more lenient on clinical trials, which the FDA uses the data from to vet experimental drugs.
Noticeably absent: any references to allowing Medicare negotiate drug prices. And according to KHN, the policies wouldn’t ease the cost of prescription drugs, and might even increase them.
Politico reports that the White House is pushing to release the executive order, though an exact timeline hasn’t been reported.