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WASHINGTON — Drug manufacturers are pushing back against one of the administration’s major proposals to bring down drug prices: a proposal to shift chemotherapy drugs and others administered in the hospital into a different part of Medicare.

The idea — which Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar first hinted at in his confirmation hearings and then proposed in the Trump administration’s fiscal year 2019 budget — would give insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers new power to negotiate discounts on some of Medicare’s costliest drugs. That could mean big savings for the Medicare program itself, which might be passed on to consumers.


In the budget proposal, the administration said Azar could use the new authority, if it is granted, whenever “there are savings to be gained from price competition.”

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