Yes, drug prices may be about to come down, and if they do – you can thank President Trump. While vocal Democrats – those who delivered the abomination of Obamacare, ever-escalating premiums, pointless penalties, and sanctimonious speeches about socialism – failed, the President has succeeded.
Yes, he managed in a first swipe, to end the unconscionable penalties. But he has now done more – he has proposed scrutinizing billions of dollars in annual rebates from drug-makers to Medicare middlemen, which allow those middlemen to keep drug prices high. This really matters.
Leading experts, from policy makers to economists, suggest Trump’s move may force drug prices – to tens of millions of average Americans – down. The White House, Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Inspector General (IG) of that department are targeting the dark practice, as many believe it keeps costs high, “where states contract with insurers to deliver benefits.”
What exactly is the point? If rebates are to be given, they should ultimately benefit patients, not benefit managers. In some ways, Trump’s executive decision is a shock, like ripping a bandage off the system. But sometimes that is the only way to restore truth, justice and the American way. More seriously, the world of confidential rebates for high-priced branded drugs – money held from patients – would end.
So, how significant would this be for patients – like you and me? Well, do not expect mainstream media outlets to tell you. They have long been more silent than vocal on this issue. But the Trump Administration is all over it, driving yet another alligator from the DC swamp. “This proposal has the potential to be the most significant change in how Americans’ drugs are priced at the pharmacy counter, ever …” said the HHS Secretary.
That is about right. Here is why. Tens of millions of Americans – many in older demographics – buy drugs at a pharmacy each month, and these tend to be priced in ways not easily explained. As the Wall Street Journal bluntly put it: “Rebates between Medicare plans and drug manufacturers have long been permitted because they aren’t barred in statutes prohibiting kickbacks to secure federal business,” adding “the new proposal could eliminate that protection by potentially subjecting the rebates to review under anti-kickback statutes.” After all, rebates that do not make it to consumers, sound like kickbacks.
So, here is the nub of it. Who passed those statutes? Congress. Who is unlikely to change them? Congress. What does this President stand for – Average Americans. What matters more than access to life saving prescription drugs at an affordable price? To many Americans, there is nothing that matters more.
And guess who is on it? President Trump. I know, you may think he is fighting the good fight to get that wall built to protect Americans from an onslaught of illegal immigrants – and you are right. But he is also fighting another “good fight,” one that the media pays little attention to. It is for you, for the average American in their daily life – who struggles to make ends meet, and to stay as healthy as possible in the process. So, yes, drug prices may be about to come down – and you can thank, President Trump.