Trump describes plan to stop other countries from free riding on drugs developed at US expense

Washington Examiner:
President Trump outlined a new proposal Thursday to lower Medicare prices for certain drugs by tying them to the prices paid overseas, decrying European “freeloaders” who get lower prices for prescription drugs.

“We are taking aim at the global freeloading that forces American consumers to subsidize lower price in foreign countries through higher prices in our country,” Trump said at a speech at the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington Thursday. “The same company, same box, same pill made in the exact same location and you will go to some countries, and it will be 20 percent the cost of what we pay and in some cases much less than that.”

To go along with Trump's remarks, the administration released a request for comment on a proposal to allow Medicare to determine the price it pays for certain drugs based on the cheapest price that another nation pays.

HHS believes the new payment model would lead to a projected total $17.2 billion in savings over five years.
It is also possible that this policy will lead to higher prices in single payer systems which could lead to lower prices for all US consumers.  At any rate, it should lead to a fairer system where the US is not subsidizing rationed healthcare in other countries.


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