Trump To Give Speech On Drug Prices, But No New Policies Are Expected To Be Unveiled
President Donald Trump's remarks are expected to coincide with a formal request for information from HHS on various ideas to lower prescription drug costs.
Trump Plans First Major Speech On Drug Prices Next Week
President Donald Trump is set to deliver his first major speech on drug prices on April 26, revisiting an issue he campaigned on but that is unlikely to yield major legislative changes. The strategy is unlikely to call for actions of the sort Trump touted on the campaign trail like allowing the government to negotiate the cost of drugs for Medicare, but based on the president’s fiscal 2019 budget request could advocate for Medicare and Medicaid demonstrations to test new ways of paying for drugs on a smaller scale, like allowing some states to try negotiating drug costs in Medicaid. (Karlin-Smith and Cancryn, 4/16)
Trump To Give Speech On Lowering Drug Prices This Month
However, the White House indicated that no new policy proposals will be unveiled at the speech, other than a request for information on “various drug pricing ideas,” according to deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley. Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a speech last month that the administration would soon be rolling out new drug pricing proposals. (Sullivan, 4/16)
HHS To Explore Ways To Lower Drug Prices
Trump has slammed drug manufacturers for high prices, but critics say the administration's actions haven’t matched Trump's strong criticism. On Capitol Hill, it’s unclear whether lawmakers will take action on prescription drug pricing issues this year. A bipartisan bill (HR 2212) would make it easier for generic drug companies to purchase drug samples to develop competitive products, and backers hope it could be attached to legislation meant to address opioid addiction this year. But it’s uncertain whether the measure has any new momentum after being left out of other must-pass vehicles earlier this year. (McIntire, 4/16)
In other pharmaceutical news —
Does An FDA About-Face On An Alkermes Drug Signal A Wider Policy Shift?
In an unprecedented move, the Food and Drug Administration rescinded a recent decision that an Alkermes (ALKS) drug being developed for treating depression would not be reviewed. And the sudden reversal is raising questions about the extent to which the agency is willing to become more flexible about drug approvals in an overheated political climate focused on access to medicines. ...This is fourth time in the past year the agency has made a U-turn on an application, although this was the first to involve a refuse-to-file letter. (Silverman, 4/16)
Sanofi To Sell Generics For $2.4 Billion To Focus On Biotech
Sanofi plans to sell its European generic-drug unit to buyout firm Advent International Corp. for 1.9 billion euros ($2.4 billion) as part of a broader move by Chief Executive Officer Olivier Brandicourt to focus resources on biotechnology and new medicines. Advent has made a binding and fully financed offer, and the companies are in exclusive negotiations, Paris-based Sanofi said in a statement Tuesday. The deal should close by the end of the year, it said. (Serafino and Baigorri, 4/17)