Today President Trump signed four executive orders (EOs) aimed at addressing the high cost of prescription drugs. The EOs, as described by the White House, would: (1) address the price of insulin by requiring federally qualified health centers to pass along any available discounts to patients, (2) allow for importation of certain drugs from other countries, (3) pass manufacturer discounts on Part D drugs to patients at the pharmacy, bypassing pharmacy benefit managers, and finally (4) implement a “favored nations” policy to allow Medicare to purchase Part B drugs at the lower prices paid by foreign countries. The fourth EO will go into effect in 30 days unless drug companies lower their prices first.
ASCO remains concerned about the escalating price of drugs, particularly cancer therapies. However, as the economic crisis in this country deepens, it is critical that any solution to this complex problem be thoroughly tested before it is implemented in order to ensure it does not impede patient access to care or stifle innovation in drug development.
Bookmark ASCO in Action for updates related to the EOs and other efforts to address the high cost of prescription drugs.