“If early reporting is correct, President Trump intends to break a major campaign promise to seniors today by failing to call for Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices with Big Pharma. While the President’s new plan to curtail drug costs reportedly contains some productive measures – including requiring insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) who act as middlemen to pass manufacturer rebates onto consumers and limiting reimbursement for Medicare outpatient drugs beyond the rate of inflation – the failure to empower Medicare to bring prescription prices down is a glaring omission, but not a surprising one. How can we expect an honest policy proposal from an administration that embraces “pay-to-play” strategies with giant pharmaceutical companies? Trump’s new proposal will ring hollow with America’s seniors, who understand the only way they will see the prices they pay at the pharmacy come down is for the president and Congress to break the choke-hold that Big Pharma has on our country’s drug pricing policies – and pass legislation that gives Medicare full control over negotiation. – Max Richtman, president and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
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