After the unveiling of the Trump Administration’s plan to lower the cost of prescription drugs, Health & Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar, provides more details on the proposal to expand Medicare drug price negotiation.
The Administration has floated the idea of allowing Medicare to further negotiate the cost of drugs by giving private players a role in setting drug prices when those drugs are administered in hospitals and doctors’ offices.
While Trump has proposed a number of vague approaches to the issue of rising drug costs, this one certainly targets the pharmaceutical industry most directly, a move that he seemed hesitant to make until very recently.
Azar, who agrees with the assertion Trump made during his speech on Friday that tougher negotiation is integral to the plan, comments that his agency will consider alternate systems for purchasing Medicare Part B drugs, which are covered by the government and are administered by healthcare providers.
Medicare Part D, which covers drugs picked up at pharmacies, already allows for private sector payers to negotiate the price of those medicines. In what Azar refers to as a “merger,” the Administration will seek to apply this type of negotiation to Medicare Part B drugs as well.
In his prepared remarks, Azar says, “We believe there are more private sector entities equipped to negotiate these better deals in Part B, and we want to let them do it.”
(Source: US News)
(Image Credit: Evan Vucci, The Associated Press)