President Trump Urges More Competition to Lower Drug Costs

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The President also noted he has directed officials to take actions to end what he termed "global freeloading," which he explained as lowered prices on drugs in other countries compared with the United States, where much of the investment funds for medical research originate.

President Trump today called for "tougher negotiation, more competition, and much lower prices at the pharmacy counter," in a statement on lowering drug prices.

The statement, which was as recently as last week the subject of a panel discussion at Asembia 2018, focused largely on bringing "drug prices under control." President Trump pointed to the reformation of the Drug Discount Program for safety net hospitals as one step in that direction. The administration has also acted to remove barriers to generic drug development and market entry in an effort to spur competition, he said.

The President also noted he has directed officials to take actions to end what he termed "global freeloading," which he explained as lowered prices on drugs in other countries compared with the United States, where much of the investment funds for medical research originate.

Of note, the President's plan also bans the Pharmacist Gag Rule, which punishes pharmacists for telling patients how to save money.

In a statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, it was noted that the FDA is "prioritizing actions to encourage the timely development and approval of generics and biosimilars."

Gottlieb added that "one key aspect of our role is to strengthen and enhance the overall generic drug review process. We’ve committed to timelier generic drug reviews to reduce the cycles of review that generic applications typically undergo. In 2017, we approved a record number of generic drug applications—more than 1,000 full or tentative approvals."

Gottlieb noted that the FDA plans to continue to work to promote drug competition and access for patients.

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