White House mulling order that would slash Medicare drug prices: report

White House
The White House is considering a new order on drug pricing, according to a report from Reuters. (Pixabay)

The White House is weighing an executive order that could significantly cut drug prices in Medicare. 

The plan under consideration would be far broader than the Trump administration’s International Pricing Index plan, which would peg the price of drugs in Part B to those paid in other countries, Reuters reported

The executive order could include a plan to expand that model into Part D, according to the article. Both the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services declined to comment on the matter. 

President Donald Trump has previously hinted that he may pursue a “favored nation” clause as part of the administration’s drug pricing efforts. 

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That the administration is mulling such an order comes as HHS has suffered several legal and regulatory setbacks in its quest to drive down drug prices. 

The agency pulled its planned rule to eliminate legal protections for drug rebates in Part D, and a judge blocked its regulation that would require pharmaceutical companies to include list prices in their direct-to-consumer advertising

Both were key proposals included in the president’s blueprint to lower drug prices, called “American Patients First.” 

In addition, Reuters’ report was released just a day after top pharmaceutical executives met with Trump to discuss the drug pricing efforts. The meeting gave members of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) the opportunity to discuss a Senate bill on drug pricing. 

The bipartisan Senate Finance Committee package is opposed by PhRMA, which says the legislation contains “harmful price controls” in Part D. 

“The Senate Finance Committee legislation is the wrong approach to lowering drug prices,” the group said in a statement.