Sweeping Drug Pricing Legislation Coming?
Americans pay more for prescription drugs than any country in the world, and the pharmaceutical industry earns billions in profits each year. It’s time for a change!
President Biden will direct the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to collaborate with states on the importation of prescription pharmaceuticals from Canada on Friday, and he will direct authorities to produce a "comprehensive plan" to cut drug prices within 45 days of taking office.
The actions are part of a broader executive order on boosting competition in the economy that Vice President Joe Biden is expected to sign on Friday afternoon. The executive order covers a wide range of issues, including health care.
Allowing the importation of lower-cost pharmaceuticals from other nations was a component of Biden's health-care plan throughout the campaign, but Friday's announcement represents a significant step ahead in terms of taking action on that front.
A set of rules was also put forth by the Trump administration, allowing states to seek to enable medication imports. Florida in particular has showed interest; however, no imports have actually taken place as of yet.
Drug companies have also launched a lawsuit in an attempt to overturn the regulations.
As part of the "complete strategy," the Biden administration appears to be exploring more moves to bring prescription prices down, though it is unclear what those actions will be.
A comprehensive piece of legislation to empower the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower drug prices is currently being drafted in Congress, and Biden administration officials have previously stated that they will support the legislative effort if asked about action on this front.
As a result of this order, the Department of Health and Human Services will consider establishing rules within 120 days to permit the sale of hearing aids over the counter.
A court ruling instructs both the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice to alter their merger standards for hospitals in order to "ensure that patients are not injured as a result of such mergers."
Moreover, it calls on the Federal Trade Commission to prohibit “pay for delay” arrangements, in which a brand-name drug corporation pays a generic medicine manufacturer to delay the introduction of competition for a specific drug.