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President Trump Gives Speech on Prescription Drug Prices and Releases Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs

On May 11, 2018, President Trump gave his long-awaited speech on his administration’s plan to lower prescription drug prices. In addition, the administration published its Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket costs. The blueprint can be found here.  The blueprint focuses on four areas for reform including strategies to: (1) improve competition; (2) increase negotiation power; (3) provide incentives for lower list prices; and (4) lowering out-of-pocket costs.

Some specific strategies outlined in President’s speech and in the blueprint include:

  1. Measures to promote innovation and competition for biologics;
  2. Assessing the varying drug prices paid by foreign countries versus the United States;
  3. Encouraging sharing of samples needed for generic drug development;
  4. Creating additional efforts to promote the use of biosimilars;
  5. Reforming Medicare Part D to give plan sponsors more power when negotiating with manufacturers;
  6. Allowing additional substitution in Medicare Part D to address price increases for single-source generics;
  7. Considering requiring manufacturers to include list prices in advertisements;
  8. Considering whether to restrict the use of rebates, including reconsidering the Anti-Kickback safe harbor for drug rebates;
  9. Considering fiduciary status for Pharmacy Benefit Managers;
  10. Reforms to the 340B Drug Discount Program;
  11. Considering changes to regulations regarding drug copay discount cards; and
  12. Prohibiting Part D contracts from preventing pharmacists’ from telling patients when they could pay less out-of-packet by not using their insurance.

President Trump emphasized in his address that he expects many of these changes to occur quickly, and comments are being sought on the policies outlined in the Blueprint. It is unclear how quickly, and how many, of the proposals will actually be adopted and implemented.  We are continuing to monitor these trends and any resulting changes for our clients in the pharmacy market, and we will provide updates as we have them.

Nicole Burgmeier

Nicole practices in the area of health law advising pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care providers, and medical practices on a variety of regulatory, compliance, and corporate transactional matters. She regularly advises on issues related to Medicare and Medicaid, state and federal privacy laws, state pharmacy laws, medical staff bylaws, tax-exempt status, certificate of need appeals, corporate structures and formation, and state and federal licensure.

Alissa Smith

Alissa represents health systems, hospitals, pharmacies, long-term care providers, home health agencies and medical practices, as well as nonprofit and municipal organizations. Alissa’s transactional practice includes contracts, leases, mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. Alissa’s regulatory practice includes the interpretation and application of state and federal fraud and abuse laws, Medicare and Medicaid rules, tax-exemption laws, HIPAA and privacy laws, EMTALA laws, licensing matters, employment laws, governmental audits and open records and open meetings matters. She also assists with corporate and health system governance issues, including the revision and negotiation of medical staff bylaws.

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