President Donald Trump delivers remarks and signs four executive orders Friday aiming to lower prescription drug prices.
One of the orders will allow states, wholesalers and pharmacies to import certain drugs from Canada, according to sources.
A second order will require pharmaceutical companies to provide insulin or an EpiPen to low-income citizens through the 340B discount program.
Another of the orders will tie Medicare drug pricing to prices paid for those drugs in other countries. Price-fixing is controversial, but forcing American citizens to pay more for the same prescription than people in other countries is a form of socialistic wealth redistribution.
The fourth order will give rebates to patients that used to go to pharmacy benefit managers – so-called “middlemen.”
“The President continues to explore any and all options that will deliver lower drug costs, while ensuring we have access to the most innovative vaccines and therapeutics in the world,” White House spokesperson Judd Deere said in a statement earlier this week.
What is not clear is when these executive orders will take effect. Lawsuits are expected from Big Pharma and the regulatory changes may trigger public comment/review periods.
The signing event is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. EDT.
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Editor’s note: a previous version of this article reported that only three orders were signed. The corrected article reflects that four were signed including one on PBM rebates.