On Sunday, United States President Donald Trump announced his plans to move forward with the executive order he signed in July that aims to lower the cost of prescription drugs, making them more accessible to the public.
Lower drug prices
President Trump said the order would have the government purchase drugs at the same price that they are being sold to countries considered "favored nations" due to the disadvantage on a specific product.
According to the New York Post, Trump wrote that his "Most Favored Nation" order would guarantee the low prices that Big Pharma gives other countries would also be available to the United States.
The Republican leader added that the time where international competitors freeride while the US suffers is over, and claims prices are sharply declining. Trump said he recently finished all rebates to intermediaries that would help bring costs down even further.
Trump's executive order aims to lower the price of Medicaid drugs to that of the lowest prices given to members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which have a similar per-capita gross domestic product.
However, the pharmaceutical industry has vehemently opposed the executive order, which has since been a mystery since its signing on July 24. At the time, Trump said that he was planning to set a meeting with executives of drug companies to discuss ideas on how to lower drug prices.
The discussions never took place, and the White House has since been quiet after the deadline to implement the executive order passed by in late August. Trump's newly announced order extends the scope of the policy to include additional drugs.
Providing cheaper treatments
Judd Deere, the White House deputy press secretary, said on Sunday that Trump's administration gave drugmakers one month to provide a counter-proposal to his order. He said that because negotiations failed to produce an alternative, Trump decided to move forward, as reported by CNN.
The leading pharmaceutical group, PhRMA, said the order was both irresponsible and unworkable, adding it would enable other countries' governments to influence how the United States gives access to treatments for its citizens.
There were other executive orders signed in July, which were mainly based on previous proposals Trump's administration had in the past. One of the orders aimed to have lower-cost medication imported from other countries to the United States,
Trump's executive orders are his attempts at fulfilling his promise of reducing the cost of drug prices. Despite the announcement, little movement is being made as efforts such as importing medication from Canada remain in their proposal phases or had courts deny them.
The move also comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are expected to release a "Your Health, Your Vote" virtual bus tour with the support of Protect Our Care, an advocacy group founded by a health official from the Obama administration.
However, the release comes amid Trump's efforts at courting drug makers to accelerate the development of a coronavirus vaccine. The Republican leader has been widely criticized for his response to the global health crisis, which was further escalated after his interview with journalist Bob Woodward was made public.