President Trump’s Executive Order issued last September 13 attempting to lower the cost of prescription drugs expands on his promise made last July 24. This article provides an overview of the expanded order and discusses both the challenges and the probability of its taking effect.
Trump Issues Expansive Order Aimed at Lowering Drug Prices
President Trump recently issued a far-reaching executive order aimed at lowering the cost of prescription drugs, but the pharmaceutical industry immediately denounced it and experts said it was unclear whether the White House could carry it out.
The order belatedly makes good on — and expands upon — a promise Mr. Trump made at a July 24 White House signing ceremony, though it has no immediate effect. It directs the health secretary to begin the process of creating demonstration projects requiring Medicare to pay the same price for prescription drugs as those sold in Europe and other developed nations, which often have lower prices.
The process could take months, if not longer, and it would almost certainly be challenged in court.
The order covers all drugs paid for by Medicare — including those sold at pharmacies — and not just those administered in doctors’ offices, as the president initially announced.
But it is unclear whether the White House has the authority to put the expansive order into effect. And in an odd twist, in calling for the secretary to set up the model programs, the administration is relying on its authority under the Affordable Care Act, which Mr. Trump and his fellow Republicans are trying to overturn in the Supreme Court.