Trump signs executive order aimed at lowering Medicare drug costs

by Peter Heck · Sep 14th, 2020 9:26 am

Last Updated Sep 16th, 2020 at 9:40 am

Saying that it was "unacceptable that Americans pay more for the exact same drugs" than other countries, President Trump signed a "My Most Favored Nation" executive order Sunday that will lower some Medicare drug prices.

By signing the order, Trump declared that the practice of giving rebates to middlemen would also cease.

"High prices cause Americans to divert too much of their scarce resources to pharmaceutical treatments and away from other productive uses," the president said. "High prices are also a reason many patients skip doses of their medications, take less than the recommended doses, or abandon treatment altogether. The consequences of these behaviors can be severe."

Though the order unsurprisingly angered the pharmaceutical industry, it also angered Trump's usual allies. FreedomWorks and Americans for Limited Government, both conservative lobby groups, blasted the decision, suggesting the president was imitating "socialist" price control policy.

That was a theme echoed by Stephen Ubl, the president and CEO of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

"Rather than emulating countries that allow politicians to arbitrarily decide what medicines are worth and what diseases are worth investing in, we should use existing trade enforcement tools to prevent them from freeloading off American innovation," Ubl said.

Despite the signing, it is not immediately clear if and when consumers will notice any meaningful impact.


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