Grace-Marie Turner | Forbes |
President Trump has doubled down on the Executive Order he put on hold in July that threatened to import price controls from countries with government-run health systems and use them as a basis for what Medicare pays for certain drugs.
The new order proposes a “Most Favored Nation” (MFN) pricing scheme not only on more expensive specialty drugs paid under Medicare Part B, such as cancer drugs generally administered by physicians, but also on drugs “where insufficient competition exists” in the Part D Medicare prescription drug program which seniors typically get from their local pharmacies or through the mail.
The president put the original order on hold in hopes he could negotiate a plan with pharmaceutical companies on prices, but no deal was reached. Administration officials now will start a process to issue proposed rules, receive public comments, and then finalize the rules—a process that can take a year or longer.
But if either the Trump or the Biden administrations were to finalize the rules, it would surely harm the pipeline of new and better cures and treatments that billions of people around the globe rely on.
The president may think that he has a winning political issue here in taking on big PhRMA, but he should expect an almost immediate lawsuit challenging his legal authority to take these actions.