Contribute Try STAT+ Today

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Thursday put forth a long-awaited proposal to eliminate certain rebates drug makers pay insurance companies in Medicare, a move it says will ultimately lower prescription drug prices — and one that stands to upend the complicated structure for how drugs are priced in the U.S.

“This proposal has the potential to be the most significant change in how Americans’ drugs are priced at the pharmacy counter, ever, and finally ease the burden of the sticker shock that millions of Americans experience every month for the drugs they need,” health secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!


What is it?

STAT+ is STAT's premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.

What's included?

  • Daily reporting and analysis
  • The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters
  • Subscriber-only newsletters
  • Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day
  • STAT+ Conversations
  • Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations
  • Exclusive industry events
  • Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country
  • The best reporters in the industry
  • The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry
  • And much more
  • Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.
  • Beware of loop holes and unintended consequences. The PBMs are great at finding work-a-rounds. What was once a rebate from manufacturers will become a “discount” or an “administrative fee”. The PBMs will find a way to get their money back either from the pharmacies or the manufacturers. Government (not just Trumpies as was said) is naive in this area of the drug business.

    • Under the anti-kickback statute, it doesn’t matter what you call it. If it quacks like a duck, it is a duck.

  • I am not holding my breath. These Trumpies are so naive. They leave the door open for all sorts of workarounds. Like most Trump proposals they fool his base and many others, but nothing really changes for Big Pharma and Big Oil, and Big Everything else. We paid for the research and then we pay again for the fruits of that research.

  • That’s great ! get rid of the ” Drug rebates “(Extortion to put a drug on formulary). How about the price spread between AWP and what the PBM’s charge their customers? or the other ways PBM’s steal money ?
    How can you have a company that owns pharmacies be the gate keeper (the PBM’s) and decide how much they pay themselves and how much they pay independent pharmacies? Until the government sees that this is the root of the high price of drugs , not much will change. Yes they are hiding behind ” The Safe Harbor Act” What a bunch of crap !!!!!!

Comments are closed.