Skip to Main Content

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is backing off a controversial proposal to chip away at existing safeguards that require Medicare to cover all drugs for conditions like depression and AIDS.

The initial proposal, which would have allowed private Medicare plans to refuse to pay for certain drugs for chronic conditions that spiked in price, was met with widespread criticism almost as soon as it was proposed last November. The Trump administration had suggested the change would help lower drug prices by giving private Medicare plans more leverage over high-cost drugs. But patient advocates and drug makers said it would jeopardize patient care in life-threatening situations.


The policy was one of the first concrete drug pricing proposals the administration unveiled after it put out a sweeping and largely aspirational “drug pricing blueprint” earlier in 2018 — and its decision to roll back the idea is the first time the Trump administration has retreated on one of its drug pricing pitches.

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