Trump Administration Drops Plan to Curb Drug Rebates

   < < Go Back
from The Wall Street Journal,

The proposal had aimed to drive down the prices consumers pay for prescriptions

The Trump administration dropped a major piece of its plan to curb drug prices, the latest sign that central planks of President Trump’s proposal are faltering amid legal challenges, high costs for taxpayers and feuds between the White House and government agencies.

The White House said Thursday that the administration won’t proceed with a proposal to curb industry rebates that drugmakers give to middlemen in Medicare. It comes after a federal judge blocked on Monday a separate rule that required drugmakers to put list prices in television ads. Both proposals aimed to tamp down sharply rising drug costs for consumers and the federal government.

Health care remains a top concern of U.S. voters headed into the 2020 election. Taken together, the recent setbacks could leave Mr. Trump vulnerable to Democrats’ attacks that he isn’t following through on his promises to lower drug prices. Seeking to regain momentum, the Republican president sought to shift the focus last week, promising an executive order on drug pricing. He has also pledged to deliver a new GOP health plan and issued an executive order to require hospitals and doctors to better disclose pricing to patients.

“President Trump’s rhetoric on drug prices has been quite strong and has the potential to neutralize an issue that long favored Democrats,” said Larry Levitt, executive vice president for health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “The president has had challenges backing up the rhetoric with action.”

More From The Wall Street Journal (subscription required):