Next up on President Donald Trump’s agenda is tackling the growing problem of rapidly rising prescription drug prices. On Friday, Trump introduced a plan to decrease federal regulations and increase competition for drug prices in an effort to lower the overall cost of prescription medicine for all Americans. In addition to lowering prices, the initiative seeks to reduce the abuse that encourages high prices and predatory practices that take advantage of patients. Trump showed no mercy in calling out insurance companies as well as pharmaceutical companies for their greed and reliance on special interest groups
Trump’s words were not just the product of a fiery speech or campaign rally. To accompany the speech, the White House released a 44-page plan detailing more than 50 ways the administration plans to accomplish its goals. Entitled American Patients First, this initiative has a goal of reducing the out-of-pocket costs of patients through better negotiation of medical costs and incentives to health companies to lower their rates. Led by Health and Human Secretary Alex Azar, the bulk of the plan does not need any Congressional approval to activate the proposals.
The President used the reveal of the plan to comment on the unfair nature of America’s high drug prices, citing that the same drugs in foreign countries often cost pennies compared to prices in the United States. Although Trump campaigned on this platform and has given the issue lip service in the first year of his term, Friday’s announcement marked the first official plan brought forth to the public. It is still unclear how Medicare and Medicaid will be affected when any of these initiatives get rolled out into action. The one thing that government officials on both sides of the aisle can agree on is that the prescription drug system is in desperate need of a heavy overhaul so that vital medicine can become affordable and accessible to the millions of Americans who go without every day.