On Friday afternoon, July 25, President Trump announced the issuance of four Executive Orders (EOs) directing federal agency action on drug pricing.
First, is an EO also referred to as “Most Favored Nation” (MFN) pricing that calls for Medicare to limit payment for drugs to the lowest price available in any “economically comparable” country. This EO would go into effect on August 24, 2020, unless an agreement is reached with biopharmaceutical companies on an alternative, or if Congress acts to address drug pricing by that same date.
In addition, three other EOs were issued: one focused on passing rebates on to Medicare beneficiaries at the point of sale; another expanding drug importation; and one lowering out-of-pocket costs for insulin and injectable epinephrine at federal community health centers. The link to these three EOs are https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/. The EO for the “Most Favored Nation” pricing has not been released.
These Executive Orders are currently being reviewed and evaluated regarding legalities, ability to implement and impact on prices. We will provide updates as they become available.
Statements by BIO (Biotechnology Innovation Organization)and PhRMA (The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America)
BIO and PhRMA have issued strong statements in opposition of the “Most Favored Nation” EO. Please see below.
Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, said “adopting foreign price controls by executive fiat will cripple the small, innovative companies developing the vaccines and therapies that will help end this pandemic and get the American people back to work.”
PhRMA President and CEO Stephen J. Ubl said Trump was opening the country up for socialized health care. Ubl called the changes to drug prices “a radical and dangerous policy to set prices based on rates paid in countries that he has labeled as socialist, which will harm patients today and into the future.”
“The administration’s proposal today is a reckless distraction that impedes our ability to respond to the current pandemic – and those we could face in the future,” Ubl said in a statement. “It jeopardizes American leadership that rewards risk-taking and innovation and threatens the hope of patients who need better treatments and cures.”
Florida life sciences companies are leading the way in developing therapies and cures, for COVID-19 and numerous other disease states. BioFlorida strongly believes price controls would stifle innovation, cause significant economic disruptions, and reduce patient access to the next generation of cures. We encourage our membership and the Florida congressional delegation to urge the Trump Administration to withdrawEOsthat threaten innovation — especially as the industry works tirelessly to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
We will continue to monitor these EOs and provide updates as needed.