In what seemed to be a bi-partisan move to lower prescription drug prices in the United States, it seems as though an Obama-era judge has obstructed the President Donald Trump from fulfilling his popular campaign promise.
As reported by Reuters:
(Reuters) – A federal judge on Monday dealt a blow to the Trump administration by striking down a new rule that would have forced pharmaceutical companies to include the wholesale prices of their drugs in television advertising.
U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington sided with drugmakers Merck & Co Inc, Eli Lilly and Co and Amgen Inc by halting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rule from taking effect on Tuesday as planned.
Mehta in his ruling set aside the entire rule as invalid, saying HHS lacked authority from the U.S. Congress to compel drug manufacturers to disclose list prices.
“It is outrageous that an Obama appointed judge sided with big PhRMA to keep high drug prices secret from the American people, leaving patients and families as the real victims,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement, referring to President Donald Trump’s Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.
PhRMA, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, is the largest industry lobbying group.
With the ridiculous prices of prescription costs for seniors and others, this new rule would have likely made a difference for those with expensive medications that cost more than $35/month.
Under the rule the wholesale, or list, price would be included if it is $35 or more for a month’s supply or the usual course of therapy. HHS said the 10 most commonly advertised drugs have list prices of $488 to $16,938 per month or for a usual course of therapy.
How a company could expect anyone to afford 17K a month for a prescription is ludicrous, but just be glad you don’t have granulomatous disease, or it will set you back $52,321.80 per month.
And who do you think foots that bill for all of the poor seniors who don’t have a penny to their name? The tax-payers.
Of course drug companies are terrified of the actual costs being known because then the average person would see how horrendously wrong it is to charge such a price for some as insignificant as a pill.
As reported by Fox Business:
Drugmakers have long argued that list prices do not reflect the actual cost of drugs as they do not take into account discounts and rebates negotiated with health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers to ensure patient access to the medicines.
Somehow it still doesn’t seem right to “negotiate” with health insurers to hide the cost of the prescriptions the same way that hospitals can hide that the sterile throw-away gloves they use cost you $53 per pair.
I mean, sure, your insurance may pay for it, but what about the person who doesn’t have insurance? Again, you, the tax payer, will pay that bill.
Is that right?
Yes, it was a travesty that Trump’s plan has been prevented. The saddest thing about it is that the judge that halted it (U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta) even agreed that it could have worked to lower costs.
CBS News covered the story:
Mehta also said he wasn’t questioning the motives of the Health and Human Services Department, which issued the price disclosure rule.
He suggested the administration could even be right on the merits.
“That policy very well could be an effective tool in halting the rising cost of prescription drugs,” the judge wrote. “But no matter how vexing the problem of spiraling drug costs may be, HHS cannot do more than what Congress has authorized. The responsibility rests with Congress to act in the first instance.”
Yes, because everybody knows that you can trust Congress to get things done, right?