Last week, President Trump met with key Administration officials, including HHS Secretary Alex Azar, to express frustration with news reports that list prices for 250 medicines have increased by an average of 6.3% and plan the Administration’s moves.
Following the meeting, HHS Secretary Azar recognized some drug manufacturers that have lowered prices, emphasized the importance of lowering prices for those paying OOP, reiterated Administration proposals to reduce prices and indicated that HHS would take future regulatory actions and the Administration would work with Democrats and Republicans on legislative proposals to reduce prices.
Impact on Employers and Employees
If regulatory or legislative action reduces the price of prescription drugs for all purchasers, employers and employees could face lower prescription drug costs that could help alleviate upward pricing pressure for employer-sponsored plans.
However, to the extent that the government takes action that reduces prices only in the Medicare program employers and employees could face increased prices if manufacturers make up for lost revenue by charging them more.
The Trump Administration is likely to implement existing proposals and may propose new policies soon.
It’s unclear to what extent the Administration and the new Congress can and will work together, though there is bipartisan concern about drug prices and it continues to garner public attention.