Trump suggests executive order on drug prices, but is unclear on details

July 8, 2019

President Trump mentioned that the White House was writing an executive order to require pharma companies to offer the U.S. government lower prices — but did not elaborate on details.

"We're going to be announcing something very shortly....We’re working on a favored-nation clause, where we pay whatever the lowest nation’s price is,” Trump said to reporters Friday, saying that an “executive order” was in the works. “Why should other nations like Canada — why should other nations pay much less than us? They’ve taken advantage of the system for a long time, pharma.”

The administration is working on a plan, first announced last year, that would use an index of international drug prices to set the price that Medicare pays for some drugs that are administered by doctors. The price index plan, still under review from the Office of Management and Budget, may begin as a five-year pilot program next year. But it would apply to only a small subset of the drug market, and would not affect the prices paid for typical prescription drugs sold at retail pharmacies.

The executive order on drug prices would most likely exist to direct the Department of Health and Human Services to pursue or expand the price index approach.

The White House press office said it had no comment on the president’s remarks.

Read the NYT article

Watch the speech here  (Drug prices at minute 1:47)