Top Drug-makers' Shares Rise after Trump Speech

Top Drug-makers' Shares Rise after Trump Speech

Allowing Medicare to negotiate prices is unacceptable to the powerful drug lobby, which has spent tens of millions of dollars since Trump's inauguration to influence the Washington conversation around drug prices, including a high-profile TV advertising campaign portraying its scientists as medical trailblazers. Although it's unclear how the Trump administration will achieve this goal, one idea is to publish a comparison of drug prices in the USA and other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries to expose the differences.

Consider sharing of samples needed for generic drug development; Promote the use of biosimilars.

Instead, the intention is to give new powers to Medicare's private prescription drug plans (Part D) to do so, with a report to be sent to the White House "on whether lower prices on some Medicare Part B drugs could be negotiated for by Part D plans".

Require site neutrality in payment; evaluate the accuracy of national drug spending data; investigate tools that address foreign government licensing or intellectual property theft.

At the core of the plan are changes to Medicare that could increase the power of commercial plans to negotiate on drug prices. More broadly, the president is calling for Part B to merge into Part D, Azar said. Democrats also want more transparent calculation of the "true cost" of drug production as a basis for pricing, and they urge an end to tactics created to extend patent protections, such as pay-for-delay deals, patent "evergreening", and the use of FDA Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) to block competition.

Shares of Indian drug makers, who derive large part of their sales from US, gained on Monday - more in relief - as US President Donald Trump's speech on drug pricing eventually turned out to be more rhetorical than substantive.

Chad Landmon, an attorney who chairs law firm Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider's intellectual property and FDA practice groups, told FierceHealthcare that the pharmaceutical industry was holding its breath when talk of a drug pricing plan began.

"Canada simply doesn't have enough drugs to sell them to us for less money, and drug companies won't sell Canada or Europe more just to have them imported here", he explained.

"A lot of what's being proposed are free market-based approaches which the industry is happy about", he said.

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The American public, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said, deserves to know which companies are "gouging consumers". "The secretary of HHS is vested with incredible authority to regulate, modify programs, to do demonstrations, to experiment", Azar said.

The administration has long said it would go after pharmaceutical industry practices that can stymie competition from lower-cost generic drugs, and Azar said the Food and Drug Administration would publicly identify companies that engage in one often-criticized tactic.

"Consumers would have much more balanced information, and companies would have a very different set of incentives for setting their prices", Azar added.

The President is blaming unfair competition overseas for rising costs in the United States. The trade group's president and CEO, Stephen Ubl, called Trump's proposals "far-reaching", and said they could fundamentally change how patients access medicines and realign incentives across the entire prescription drug supply chain.

Banning a pharmacist "gag rule", which prevents druggists from telling customers when they can save money by paying cash instead of using their insurance.

Most proposals will impact so-called middlemen including pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs and drug distributors.

HHS is also asking providers to weigh-in on ways they can improve their education and outreach strategies. "I doubt that the Trump administration will go so far as to mandate or force this program, which would basically nearly mimic the Obama administration's attempts around the mandatory Part B demonstration program that was abandoned due to stakeholder rancor", Patel said. It's unclear how that would be addressed.

Leahy said the president was "right to call out the anticompetitive behavior of some brand-name companies that keeps generic competitors off the market".

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