Trump also signaled his intent to eliminate pharmaceutical industry middlemen — pharmacy-benefit managers — who are “ripping off Medicare patients with high prescription prices,” he said.
The policies, the president claimed, are the “the biggest ever [announcement] concerning drugs and drug pricing.”
According to American Action Forum research, the so-called “favored-nation” pricing proposal would cut pharmaceutical companies’ revenue as much as $9 billion each year if extended to all drugs covered under Medicare Part B, according to American Action Forum.
According to Politico, part of the motivation for the announcement was to penalize the pharmaceutical industry for allegedly delaying the release of positive COVID-19 vaccine news.
Trump acknowledged his frustration with “Pfizer and others” that allegedly chose to “not come out with a vaccine until just after the election.”
Trump has also issued a series of executive orders to curb drug pricing while also supporting importing drugs from Canada.
The lobbyist organization PhRMA was not amused with the latest announcement. “It defies logic that the administration is blindly proceeding with a ‘most favored nation’ policy that gives foreign governments the upper hand in deciding the value of medicines in the United States,” explained PhRMA president and CEO Stephen Ubl in prepared remarks.
PhRMA will likely support legal initiatives to stop the measures, which it suggests could interfere with drug companies’ efforts to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Biotechnology Innovation Organization has taken a similar position. “I would say all tools would be at our disposal because it would just have such a devastating impact on our ability to bring new cures for patients,” said Michelle McMurry-Heath, CEO of the trade association Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), in an interview with the Hill.
It is unclear whether President-elect Joe Biden will aim to roll back the executive order. Biden has supported the creation of a federal group to establish far drug pricing.