President Trump calls for lower drug prices in State of the Union address

Shayna Korol - Print  |

President Donald Trump called for Congress to lower U.S. drug prices during his State of the Union address Feb. 5, CNBC reports.

The Trump administration recently proposed a ban on "backdoor deals" cut by pharmaceutical companies with middlemen who get preferred status for their products through Medicare. Currently, pharmaceutical companies pay rebates to pharmacy benefit management companies, such as CVS Health, to include their medications on Medicare Part D plans. The new proposal would leave PBMs receiving just a flat fee for including drugs on those plans. It would also pass approximately $29 billion in drug company rebates to consumers.

"It is unacceptable that Americans pay vastly more than people in other countries for the exact same drugs, often made in the exact same place," President Trump said, according to CNBC. "I am asking Congress to pass legislation that finally takes on the problem of global freeloading and delivers fairness and price transparency for American patients. We should also require drug companies, insurance companies and hospitals to disclose real prices to foster competition and bring costs way down."

President Trump delivered the address after the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. On Jan. 25, he and Democratic leaders agreed to re-open the government for three weeks.

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