Both measures will only apply to elderly Americans who are clients of Medicare’s preferential health insurance program.
President Donald Trump signed two directives on Friday to help reduce the cost of prescription drugs. Trump announced this at a press briefing in the White House.
Both directives apply to Americans over the age of 65 who receive medical care under the government’s Medicare program, Reuters reports.
One of the guidelines obliges Medicare to compare the prices of drugs prescribed by doctors with the lowest prices for similar drugs in other economically developed countries. Representatives of the pharmaceutical business strongly oppose this rule, calling it “socialism”. The administration estimates that the implementation of this measure will allow Medicare clients to save $28 billion over seven years, as they will no longer overpay for the drugs prescribed to them. The rule comes into force on January 1, 2021.
The second directive obliges manufacturers of patented medicines to provide discounts to Medicare program participants. These discounts are now provided to insurers and intermediary companies. Insurance companies working with Medicare warn that this may lead to increased insurance premiums. According to the estimates of the Congressional Budget Office, this measure will increase taxpayers’ expenses by 177 billion dollars over 10 years.
The White House does not agree with these allegations, saying that as a result of the introduction of this rule, patients will save up to 30% of the money spent on the purchase of medicines. This rule will take effect on January 1, 2022.
According to the Associated Press agency, it’s hard to say yet whether both directives will be implemented, as pharmaceutical manufacturers are going to challenge the innovations in court, and the new administration of Joe Biden may change or completely cancel the Trump initiative.
Immediately after his speech, Trump left the press conference room without answering journalists’ questions.