On May 11, 2018, following up on his often-repeated campaign statements on lowering drug costs, President Donald Trump announced a new Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “blueprint” to address and counteract high US prescription drug prices.1 The need is clear. In March, a Senate committee reported that list prices for the 20 most-prescribed brand-name drugs for patients older than 65 years had increased 71% since 2012; the Consumer Price Index, by contrast, increased 9% during that period.2 In a recent international comparison of health care costs, US pharmaceutical prices were nearly double those of 10 other high-income countries.3 Anticipating continued steady price markups and ever-higher launch prices, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has forecast that net spending for retail drugs will increase 6% each year between 2017 and 2026, faster than any other major health care good or service.4
Sarpatwari A, Avorn J, Kesselheim AS. An Incomplete PrescriptionPresident Trump’s Plan to Address High Drug Prices. JAMA. 2018;319(23):2373–2374. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.7424
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