President Trump today unveiled his administration’s blueprint to lower prescription drug prices, which also solicits input on potential actions the Department of Health and Human Services may take to improve competition and negotiation and lower costs. Among other actions, for example, HHS may issue guidance to address some of the ways in which manufacturers may seek to delay or block competition from generic products entering the market, and call on the Food and Drug Administration to evaluate the inclusion of list prices in direct-to-consumer advertising, the blueprint states.
“The AHA applauds President Trump and his administration for taking the initiative to tackle the high price of prescription drugs,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “The U.S. health care system is in the midst of a prescription drug spending crisis that threatens both patient access to care and the ability of hospitals and health systems to deliver the highest quality of care. The AHA appreciates many of the actions that the Administration has proposed, such as incentives to speed up the arrival of generic drugs into the market and reducing out-of-pocket costs for patients. These are good first steps and additional actions are needed. The AHA has specific recommendations to further increase competition, transparency, access and value, while fostering innovation. We look forward to closely reviewing today’s proposals and continuing to work with the Administration and the Congress to make progress on lowering drug prices. We also urge the Administration and the Congress to oppose any efforts to scale back the 340B drug savings program, which for over 25 years has been critical in helping hospitals stretch scarce federal resources to expand access to health care services in communities with a significant number of vulnerable patients. 340B is a critical tool in the toolbox that provides drugs at lower prices to those on the front lines of patient care.”
AHA Chair Nancy Howell Agee attended today’s announcement at the White House. On Monday, HHS Secretary Alex Azar plans to deliver a speech elaborating on how the agency will implement the president’s plan.