On Friday, US President Donald Trump signed four executive orders to make drug prices cheaper. The move looks president’s effort to collect the support of older people, which he seems to be losing due to his ill-handling of the COVID crisis.
However, the decision is unlikely to be implemented, anytime soon, because the executive orders have very limited power to alter any drug pricing policy; and if executed, would not benefit the patients too much.
Moreover, no change would be seen before the November US elections, and the drug industry will challenge the verdict in court, too, if executed.
According to some experts, the proposal can’t be implemented via orders. Instead, the federal administration is required to go through an entire rulemaking method, which would months or even years.
One executive order signed by Trump is being largely criticised which allows states, pharmaceutical companies, and other drug manufacturers to import certain medicines from Canada, against which both, the American drug firms and the Canadian government, looks despondent.
The American pharma organisations opposed the proposal, arguing that the safety of the medicines that come from outside the US cannot be trusted. The Canadian administration warned that the Canadian drug firms could not fulfil the demand of import of much larger country than the US, as compared to only 37 million Canadians, and allowing such orders might create serious medicine shortage for their residents.
The other three proposals were – one, End the popular practice of drugmakers which give discounts to insurance middle agents in programs like Medicare. The US president nullified the rule last year, and it is supported by pharma firms too.
Second, providing a sharp discount to thousands of community health centres and hospitals, which serve a huge number of low income or poor patients, for the medicines like insulin or EpiPen for FREE by Drug manufacturing companies. And third focuses on tying many Medicare medicines’ prices to those paid in other nations at lower prices, often known as “International Pricing Index”.