WASHINGTON (Reuters)—U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday his administration is seeking to lower prescription drug prices by determining the price the government’s Medicare program pays for some medications based on the lower prices paid in other countries.
Trump said the move takes aim at what he characterized as “global freeloading” on prescription drugs.
“The world reaps the benefit of American genius,” Trump said, speaking at the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Humphrey Building near Capitol Hill. “Seniors, who are hit the hardest, pick up the tab.”
HHS said the proposed rule would cover most of the drugs in Medicare’s Part B, which includes expensive physician administered drugs such as infusions.
According to HHS’s projections, if they come into effect, the rule would save $17.2 billion over five years.
“If implemented, this policy certainly would lower prices in the United States,” said Craig Garthwaite, director of the healthcare program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. “It would increase prices in Europe by an unclear amount, so it seems like it would lower overall drug spending and innovation.”