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WASHINGTON — President Trump’s much-ballyhooed drug pricing address Friday contained little of the fiery rhetoric that so often accompanies his campaign speeches and off-script asides. And the policy document that was supposed to detail his vague remarks offered more flash than specifics.

It’s unclear how the bevvy of proposals would work independently or together to actually save money for patients. The blueprint offers few specific details about how any of these ideas would be implemented, and barely commits the government to doing anything, often saying that the Department of Health and Human Services “may” take certain actions.


In remarks following Trump’s speech and in a subsequent question-and-answer period, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar did his best to flesh out what’s to come from the administration, going into detail about some of the policies he’s most eager to implement.

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  • Guys, this anti-Trump slant and lack of diverse thinking is very bad. It affects the way you interpret information, and more importantly, it ultimately produces a different, less-accurate analysis; as well as less accurate reporting.

    You probably understand that when Alex talks about eliminating rebates, he’s talking about his intention to completely rework the list price. I mean, he did explicitly say that he’s against a system that drives up the list price and he intends to completely change the system, detailing the actual strategies he’s considering to accomplish this. And, yet look at this quote from the article:

    “…following Trump’s Friday speech, Azar animatedly elaborated. “We are calling into question today the entire structure of using rebates as the method of negotiating discounts in the pharmacy channel,” Azar said. It’s unclear what impact this would have on drug prices for patients. It’s also unclear how the government could both eliminate rebates and follow through on an idea included in the president’s budget, where rebates would be passed to consumers.”

    This doesn’t convey the actual reality to readers. It may not be clear to you, but to anyone who’s not burdened by dislike, contempt, or political bias associated with Trump’s administration, it’s actually clear and simple to grasp.

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