US President Trump signs orders to cut prescription drug prices

Last Modified Saturday, 25 July 2020 (17:46 IST)
The executive orders signed by US would allow US companies to import at a lower cost, as well as cut prices for the consumers. Trump said he was "unrigging the system."
US President Donald Trump signed four executive orders which would lower the prices for prescription drugs paid by Americans.
 
One of the orders enabled the import of cheaper drugs from countries such as Canada. Another order would ensure price deductions to patients directly on items such as insulin and EpiPens. 
 
The third order prohibited deals between drug manufacturers and middlemen, to ensure that patients directly benefit from the rebates. The fourth-order was to ensure that the US paid the lowest possible price as economically comparable countries for drugs used for outpatient care and financed by the Part B segment of the Medicare, a federal health insurance program for US seniors.
 
During his 2016 campaign, Trump promised to lower the costs of medication. On Friday, Trump said he was ''unrigging the system" and providing consumers with massive savings.
 
A 'reckless distraction'
 
Pharmaceutical companies criticized the move, with some claiming it would affect the ongoing efforts to develop drugs against COVID-19.
 
"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," said a representative of the lobby group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
 
The president has been widely criticized for the response to the spread of coronavirus in the country. The US is the world's worst-affected nation, with 4,106,225 cases, and 145,324 deaths. 
 
Previous efforts to cut back on prices by the administration have been stalled due to industry pushback. tg/dj  (AP, Reuters)
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