President Donald Trump criticized middlemen in a speech introducing his plan to lower prescription drug prices, but the proposals his administration unveiled largely spared health-care companies massive reforms.
Trump's plan, called "American Patients First," seeks to increase competition, improve negotiation and create incentives to lower list prices of prescription drugs and out-of-pocket costs for consumers. Some of the steps it outlines are rebate-sharing in Medicare drug plans, promoting generics and copycat version of biologic drugs and requiring drug manufacturers to publish list prices for drugs in television advertisements.
However, it stops short of allowing Medicare to directly work with manufacturers on prices, something Trump had called for on the campaign trail but Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, a former Eli Lilly executive, has opposed.
"Everyone involved in the broken system — the drugmakers, insurance companies, distributors, pharmacy benefit managers and many others — contribute to the problem," Trump said. "Government has also been part of the problem because previous leaders turned a blind eye to this incredible abuse."