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Drug Prices Could Drop Under Trump

Drug Prices Could Drop Under Trump

 

Earlier this year, the Trump administration introduced proposals that would reduce the price of prescription drugs. The proposals, which were announced by President Trump on October 25, are part of an initiative to bring drug prices in the United States in line with international levels. During his speech at the Department of Health and Human Services, the President said the reforms would help “Put America First.”

 

The way Trump proposes to reduce the price of prescription drugs is by allowing Medicare to directly negotiate drug prices with drug companies that he says have “rigged” the system and caused Americans to pay more than necessary for their medications. He aims to stop foreign drug companies from charging American’s more than they charge citizens of their own country.

 

In tandem with the President’s announcement, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM). The notice discusses a potential new mandatory payment model referred to as the “International Pricing Index” (IPI). According to the CMS, a proposed rule might be issued in Spring 2019 that would make the IPI standard, officially launching the model nation-wide in Spring 2020.

 

In the ANPRM, CMS says the model might include:

  • A lowered Medicare payment amount for selected Medicare Part B drugs to levels that more closely align with international prices
  • The allowance for private-sector vendors to negotiate prices of drugs and compete for physician and hospital business
  • An increased drug add-on payment to reflect 6 percent of historical drug costs to be paid to physicians and hospitals according to a set payment amount structure

 

If they are instated, it is unclear how tangible the effects of both Trump’s and Medicare’s proposals will be to the average American. Drug prices could, indeed, drop with greater government involvement. On the other hand, experts point out that — according to the Department of Health and Human Services — the plan would just be an experiment that involves cut prices for only a handful of costly drugs. Either way, the proposal still needs to make its way through other government offices and its journey will be crucial to follow for Americans who rely on drug-based treatments.

 

Dr. Steven Lipsky

Steven J. Lipsky MD, FACEP has been a Board Certified Emergency Physician in Arizona for the last 41 years, and a resident of the Town of Paradise Valley for the last 40 years. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from New York University School of Medicine and did post-graduate training in Family Practice at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix before going into the full-time practice of Emergency Medicine in 1975. Dr. Lipsky has worked in every type of Emergency Department in Arizona – from inner city and rural, small volume and large, public and private hospitals, teaching and nonteaching hospitals. He has taught at the Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine – Division of Clinical Education, as well as in Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine Arizona. He has received the highest number of patient satisfaction letters in his group at multiple facilities and has been recognized at Paradise Valley Hospital for his outstanding performance. A past president of the Arizona College of Emergency Physicians (representing over 800 Emergency Physicians in our state) along with many other positions in the organization, Dr. Lipsky was also one of six Councillors representing Arizona to the National Council of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Dr. Lipsky built, owned, and was the Medical Director for the first 24hr free-standing Emergicenter and Advanced Life Support Ambulance Service in Jamaica. In conjunction with USAID, Cornell Medical Center’s School of Public Health, the Ministry of Health and Environmental Control of Jamaica, and the U.S. Peace Corps, he participated in a successful program to stem infant mortality in rural areas.

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