President Trump’s Executive Orders on Drug Costs Controls

By Naomi Fisher 

 

Bless President Trump. We need this reform! You will hear Pelosi and the organized Left, funded by Soros-backed groups proclaiming there is a bill before Congress that will do the same thing.

If you check congress.gov for the bill H.R.3, click on “action”, you will find:

On 09/19/19 House Bill H.R.3 – Lower Drug Cost Act was introduced to the House, saw a lot of action. It was passed in December 2019.

On 12/16/19 House Bill H.R.3 was Introduced into the Senate where it is apparently languishing. As of Sunday, 7/27/20, it had yet to be discussed for the first time.

So, once again, the Marxist Far Left is doing nothing to help our Citizens!

On Friday, July 24, 2020, with that bill stalled in Congress President Trump signed 4 Executive Orders to curtail the cost of drugs in our United States.

He stated that drug lobbyists, special interests and foreign countries have been ripping off our citizens. He also said our U.S. is bearing the entire cost, paying for all research and development. Yet, here our consumers get charged three to four times as much as we would pay in those countries for the exact same drug from the same company.

One has to wonder that if by stating “special interest” President Trump was alluding to Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBM).  PBM’s are organizations that manage prescription drug benefits on behalf of health insurers, Medicare Part D drug plans, etc. PBMs negotiate with drug manufacturers and pharmacies to control drug spending, have a significant impact in determining total drug costs for insurers. They maintain lists of covered meds thereby influencing which drugs/medications are available to patients.

Critics complain [some] PBMs get rebates initially designed to lower drug prices but are now kept by the PBMs who tend toward higher priced drugs, thus larger rebates. You can read more on the links below.

As to the cost of drugs in other Countries, I was taking medication in which the pills were in a bubble-type packet. Cost: $27. I was visiting in Mexico and bought the same packet, same number of pills same name only in Spanish. Cost: $4. As you can see, in our U.S. it cost almost four times more for the same thing!

Again, bless President Trump! EpiPens (Epinephrine for severe allergic reactions) were $50 just a few years ago. now perhaps you can find them for $300, some $700 or more. Many insurance companies do not pay for them. People have died  due to EpiPens being unaffordable. Personally I would like to see the people involved in price gouging for these lifesaving articles charged with 1st or 2nd degree murder. If the pharmaceutical relations division that controls news media did not have the exorbitant cost of pharmaceuticals reported, shouldn’t they be charged with terrorism?

This extremely short youtube video is of the signing and speech by President Trump: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmC6qC1LexM

This CNBC Article lists the Four Executive Orders

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/24/trump-announces-series-of-executive-orders-aimed-at-lowering-drug-costs.html

“1st order: requiring federal community health centers to pass discounts they receive on the drug insulin and EpiPens.

“2nd order: would allow states, pharmacies and wholesalers to import drugs from Canada where they typically cost less than in the U.S.

“3rd order: aimed at preventing “middlemen,” also known as pharmacy benefit managers, from pocketing “gigantic discounts,” Alex Azar, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, told reporters on a conference call after the signing ceremony that drug companies currently pay about $150 billion in undisclosed kickbacks to middlemen often in exchange for more favorable insurance coverage for their drugs…new rule would require kickbacks be passed to seniors.

“4th order: …Trump said he may not need to implement, would allow Medicare to purchase drugs at the same price other countries pay. The order would specifically allow Medicare to implement a so-called international pricing index to bring drug prices in line with what other nations pay.” 

Articles:

This article explains some opposition: 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-signs-executive-orders-aimed-at-lowering-drug-prices/ar-BB179Je1

Explains PBM’s:

https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/explainer/2019/apr/pharmacy-benefit-managers-and-their-role-drug-spending

https://www.thebalancesmb.com/largest-pharmacy-benefit-managers-2663840

https://www.statnews.com/2018/08/27/pharmacy-benefit-managers-good-or-bad/

EpiPens cost:

https://www.rn.com/featured-stories/the-soaring-price-of-epipen/

https://costaide.com/epipen-price/

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal


Naomi Fisher is a resident of Ventura County


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