This White House action reverses their recent intentions to dramatically change the way prescription drug rebates impact Medicare and its beneficiaries and may blunt recent efforts by the PBM industry and employers to revise how rebates are handled in prescription drug plans.
White House Pulls the Plug onProposed Drug-Rebate Overhaul
The White House abandoned a push to end rebates paid to middlemen who negotiate drug prices on behalf of health insurers, a move that could turn scrutiny back on how drugmakers themselves set prices.
President Donald Trump has made lowering prescription-drug costs a top priority of his administration, and ending rebates was seen as a vital part of that effort.
The end of the rebate push is likely to swing discussion back toward the pricing practices of big drugmakers, and it could add momentum to other proposals that have been floated by the administration, such as tying drug costs to an index of international pharmaceutical prices.
White House Pulls the Plug on Proposed Drug-Rebate Overhaul
The Trump administration has withdrawn its sweeping proposal to eliminate rebates from government drug plans, a White House spokesperson confirmed to POLITICO.
The proposal – a centerpiece of the Trump administration’s strategy to reduce drug prices – had split HHS and the White House. HHS Secretary Alex Azar had argued that eliminating rebates would lead to lower list prices, warning in April that any policy that fails to address rebates “will simply not get list prices down.” But the proposal had faced resistance from domestic policy chief Joe Grogan and other fiscal hawks on grounds that it was too expensive – costing the government nearly $180 billion over a decade.