Story at a glance

  • The Washington Post reports that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services may release a proposal to execute the “most favored nation” drug pricing order.
  • One source says this is Trump’s retaliation to perceived deliberate withholdings of vaccine news until after Election Day.

In the midst of exceptionally positive results from COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, President Trump has voiced his dissatisfaction with the timing of the news, implying that positive data from clinical trials were deliberately withheld until after Election Day.

Now, The Washington Post reports that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services may release a blueprint to lower drug prices within Medicare through an executive order called the “most favored nation.”

The “most favored nation” price refers to the lowest price for a pharmaceutical drug or product sold in a member country of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development with a similar gross domestic product. 

This policy aims to reduce costs for prescription drugs or biological products, especially for elderly Americans.  

The Post notes that the policy is unpopular in the pharmaceutical industry because it would force drug manufacturers to accept the lowest price from the government for medicines that were paid in similarly wealthy countries.

Trump has long wanted to cut drug prices, but has hit roadblocks along the way. 

Speaking to The Post, one GOP health care lobbyist said that this move is pointed at pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and Moderna, whose COVID-19 vaccine candidates each recently exhibited about 95 percent efficacy rates. 

“This is basically Trump being pissed off because he thought the industry campaigned against him and delayed in announcing the [vaccine] results, so he is going to get back at them with favored nations,” they said.


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Published on Nov 18, 2020