The Government, despite being the largest payer for meds, does not negotiate price. We simply agree to pay the average going rate in the U.S.
We passed laws that prevent the Government from negotiating drug prices in Medicare and Medicaid. Guess who pushed that law?
Since the U.S. has the highest drug prices in the world, the Gov pays a lot (we pay a lot).
The Trump administration says it plans to change how Medicare pays for some expensive drugs to bring the costs more in line with the prices paid in Europe. This is a good first step.
But, we are only factoring in their costs, not trying to meet or beat it. For a country that says “we always win”, this sounds like we’re giving up pretty easily.
This has been going on for decades now; Rep and Dem administrations and Legislatures. The drug companies got their law, and “our” representatives seem fine with it. Yes, they complain about drug prices, but they don’t take the very simple step of overturning the 2003 law (or at least part of it) and allow the biggest payer of drug prescriptions to use its power to lower the cost.
“For decades, other countries have rigged the system so that American patients are charged much more,” President Trump said Thursday
While the president says other countries “rigged the system” (in his tendency to play the victim), the reality is that the U.S. removed itself from the equation a long time ago.
The proposed changes are small but more than we’ve done before. I only hope it leads to someone taking up the next step of letting the government negotiate the cost of the drugs for which we all pay.