Prescription drug executive order follies

whitehouse.gov shows text (not image) of two executive orders yesterday relating to prescription drugs:

a first

https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-lowering-drug-prices-putting-america-first/

and a second appearing to correct the first in a number of ways

https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-lowering-drug-prices-putting-america-first-2/

Both are concerned only with Medicare. The first mentions Part B, whereas the second also mentions Part D.

The second deletes a paragraph from the policy statement of the first:

The need for affordable Medicare Part B drugs is particularly acute now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to historic levels of unemployment in the United States, including the loss of 1.2 million jobs among Americans age 65 or older between March and April of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has also led to an increase in food prices, straining budgets for many of America’s seniors, particularly those who live on fixed incomes. The economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic only increase the burdens placed on America’s seniors and other Medicare Part B beneficiaries.

They adopt a formula apparently allowing companies to price by per capita GDP:

Sec2Policy. (a) It is the policy of the United States that the Medicare program should not pay more for costly Part B or Part D prescription drugs or biological products than the most-favored-nation price.

(b) The “most-favored-nation price” shall mean the lowest price, after adjusting for volume and differences in national gross domestic product, for a pharmaceutical product that the drug manufacturer sells in a member country of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that has a comparable per-capita gross domestic product.

The second also repeals a prior order (which is presumably the first):

Sec5Revocation of Executive Order. The Executive Order of July 24, 2020 (Lowering Drug Prices by Putting America First), is revoked.

That was the secret order:

https://health.wusf.usf.edu/post/trump-signs-new-executive-order-prescription-drug-prices#stream/0

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/search?conditions%5Bterm%5D=%22Lowering+Drug+Prices+by+Putting+America+First%22

Two published 7/24 orders are “Executive Order 13938 of July 24, 2020″ relating to importation and “Executive Order 13939 of July 24, 2020″ relating to middlemen kickbacks.

In any event, there appears to be a speculative reduction in Medicare drug prices, but not in non-Medicare prices.

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4 thoughts on “Prescription drug executive order follies”

  1. Gee, you would think they would hold it up for a day and issue a single clear order without all the confusion.  Send the bosses out for a three-martini lunch and let the secretary clean up their mess.

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  2. MJBubba:
    Gee, you would think they would hold it up for a day and issue a single clear order without all the confusion.  Send the bosses out for a three-martini lunch and let the secretary clean up their mess.

    I’m guessing the first was actually the secret 7/24 order. Without an image file, I can’t be sure.

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  3. Is this only for drugs that the gov purchases through Medicare? This is what is causing such high prices to begin with—price controls other countries place on the price of drugs. This seems to be another price control that will harm those not on Medicare.

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