To Lower Drug Costs at Home, Trump Wants Higher Prices Abroad

WASHINGTON — President Trump, poised on Friday to unveil his strategy to lower prescription drug prices, has an idea in which may not be so well-known abroad: Bring down costs at home by forcing higher prices in foreign countries in which use their national health systems to make drugs more affordable.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump rebuffed his European allies by withdrawing by the Iran nuclear deal. Threatened tariffs on steel as well as aluminum have strained relations with different developed nations. as well as at in which point the administration is usually suggesting policies in which could hit the pocketbooks of some of America’s strongest allies.

“We’re going to be ending global freeloading,” Mr. Trump declared at a meeting with drug company executives in his first month in office. Foreign cost controls, he said, reduce the resources in which American drug companies have to finance research as well as develop brand-new cures.

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The White House Council of Economic Advisers fleshed out the idea three months ago in a report in which deplored the “underpricing of drugs in foreign countries.”

The council said in which profit margins on brand-name drugs inside United States were four times as high as those inside more regulated markets of major European countries as well as Japan. The United States, in which said, needs to “address the root of the problem: foreign, developed nations, in which can afford to pay for novel drugs, free-ride by setting drug prices at unfairly low levels, leaving American patients to pay for the innovation in which foreign patients enjoy.”

Mr. Trump plans to lay out his ideas on Friday. Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health as well as human services, said in a speech on Wednesday in which the administration would certainly attack several problems, including high list prices set by drug manufacturers; rising out-of-pocket costs for consumers; as well as “foreign governments free-riding off of American investment in innovation.”

Administration officials have raised expectations in which the president’s proposals will have a far-reaching impact. “Bold action is usually on the way,” Mr. Azar said last week.

So is usually resistance.

“Canadian drug prices are among the highest inside entire world,” said Tammy Jarbeau, a spokeswoman for Health Canada, the national health department. “Our plan is usually to bring down prices so they compare more favorably with those of different countries of comparable size as well as economic development.”

as well as Democrats called in which naïve to think in which American drug companies would certainly lower prices inside United States if they could increase drug prices abroad.

“There is usually absolutely no reason to believe in which trade policies designed to raise prescription drug prices overseas will result in equivalent or any decreases in prices inside United States,” six House Democrats, led by Representatives Jan Schakowsky of Illinois as well as Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, said in a recent letter to Mr. Trump.

People who work inside industry said in which was unlikely in which consumers would certainly go to the pharmacy counter as well as see a meaningful reduction in drug prices before the end of the year.

Mr. Trump is usually required to criticize brand-name drug manufacturers for high list prices as well as maneuvers in which delay the marketing of lower-cost generic drugs. He is usually also required to go after middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers, saying they profit by rebates paid by drug companies although do not share much of the savings with patients.

Dr. Peter B. Bach of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in brand-new York, an expert on drug prices, said: “Administration officials are talking about defects inside market in which make some drugs unaffordable. The real question is usually whether the president will take on brand-new brand-name drugs in which have no competitors as well as cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.”

The United States can pressure foreign nations through diplomacy as well as trade negotiations. In its annual report card on the protection of intellectual property rights around the entire world, the United States trade representative last month criticized the drug pricing as well as reimbursement policies of Canada, South Korea, Japan, India, Turkey, brand-new Zealand as well as several European Union countries, saying they did not adequately recognize the value of innovative medicines.

America’s trading partners must “contribute their fair share to the research as well as development of brand-new cures as well as therapies,” the report said, echoing Mr. Trump’s contention in which foreign cost controls were “very unfair to in which country.”

The report said the Trump administration had recently secured a commitment by South Korea to revise its drug pricing policy to provide higher payments for certain innovative American-made drugs. although the administration said in which was concerned about the way Canada sets cost ceilings for many prescription drugs. An independent quasi-judicial body reviews drug prices in Canada to make sure they are not excessive.

Canadian officials say they have no interest in raising prices to allay the concerns of Trump administration officials or American drug companies.

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