The United States President Donald Trump has signed four executive orders aimed at lowering the prices for prescription drugs across America.
The US president had previously proposed the changes but signed the executive order on Friday July 24, 2020.
While speaking about the order, Trump stated that one order would allow for the legal importation of cheaper prescription drugs from countries like Canada, while another would require discounts from drug companies now captured by middlemen to be passed on to patients.
"Another measure seeks to lower insulin costs while a fourth, which may not be implemented if talks with drug companies are successful, would require Medicare to purchase drugs at the same price that other countries pay," Trump said.
Trump further stated that executives of top drug companies had requested a meeting to discuss how they can lower drug prices.
“We will see what those discussions indicate but the agency is prepared to move forward,” said Medicare chief Seema Verma.
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America however said the orders received swift pushback from the pharmaceutical industry and the move was “a reckless distraction that impedes our ability to respond to the current pandemic – and those we could face in the future."
“We believe they are likely geared more towards deriving campaign talking points rather than producing tangible, material effects,” Brian Abrahams, a biotech analyst at RBC Capital Markets, said in a note.
Many of the administration’s past efforts to cut drug prices, including its plan to force insurers and other healthcare payers to pass rebates on to patients, have stalled amid industry pushback.
The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, whose members negotiate rebates for healthcare payers with Drugmakers in a statement said, “Reviving a rebate reform proposal now does not address the underlying flaws – that it will drastically increase Medicare premiums for America’s seniors and most vulnerable."