Anger and frustration about high drug prices have been mounting over the last few months, to the point where legislators are rushing to propose solutions, afraid they will be left out. The New York Times wrote up a helpful summary of some of the most important proposals to reduce drug prices that Congress is currently considering.
The bills include proposals to steamline the FDA’s approval process for generic drugs, requiring drug companies to give notice and provide reasons when their drug prices go up by more than a certain amount, importing drugs from other countries, requiring PBMs that contribute to rising prices to disclose the rebates they negotiate with drugmakers, and allowing the government to negotiate drug prices in Medicare.
With such a multitude of solutions, the question is: what will the Trump administration do? Which proposals will they support and how many Republicans will they be able to bring along? Officials have repeatedly said that Trump has been asking what they are doing to reduce drug prices, and they have been holding meetings on the subject. Traditionally Democrats have supported allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices and Republicans have opposed it, so Trump’s endorsing this reform would be a substantial shift.
The clock is ticking. The easiest period to pass major reforms is in the first couple of years of a new president’s term, and since this year is not an election year, lawmakers have more freedom to enact laws. The sooner reforms to reduce drug prices pass—and we will work to make them as strong and comprehensive as possible—the better off all Americans will be.