China tariffs could raise prices for prescription drugs in US, groups warn

China tariffs could raise prices for prescription drugs in US, groups warn
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President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE's proposed tariffs on goods from China could lead to higher prescription drug costs in the U.S., pharmaceutical groups warn.

The Trump administration's list of Chinese-manufactured products that could be slapped with a 25 percent tariff includes many ingredients used to manufacture drugs such as insulin, antidepressants and the anti-allergic-reaction drug epinephrine. 

China, according to the Food and Drug Administration, is one of the largest suppliers of ingredients used to make U.S.-consumed prescription drugs.

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Advocates and drugmakers worry that the tariffs would make generic products more expensive as the nation continues to struggle with already high drug prices. 

"We are concerned that the proposed tariffs may lead to increased costs of manufacturing for generics and biosimilars and thus higher prescription drug prices for patients in the U.S.," said a statement from the Association for Accessible Medicines, an organization that represents prescription drug manufacturers. 

Advocates point out that tariffs on ingredients in drugs would run counter to Trump's promise to lower drug prices. 

“For an administration that wants to lower drug prices, this would do the exact opposite," said Ben Wakana, executive director of Patients for Affordable Drugs.

"We are eager to read the comprehensive set of recommendations the administration promised to release in the next few weeks, but the tariffs announced yesterday would be a step in the wrong direction. It’s a tax that would raise prices on prescription drugs.”