Washington, DC — Today, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a proposal to potentially allow Americans, after a long regulatory process and action by individual states, to import select prescription drugs from Canada, but fails to include any negotiating power for Medicare. Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement in response:

“If President Trump and Secretary Azar are serious about standing up to the drug companies, they’ll stop blocking plans that let Medicare negotiate for less expensive drug prices. Instead of taking meaningful action to lower drug prices, the GOP is busy blocking Medicare drug negotiations, filling a lawsuit against health care that would raise drug prices, and gladly giving out hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to drug and insurance companies. It’s clear that when it comes to lowering drug prices, Donald Trump is long on rhetoric and empty on results.” 

BACKGROUND

Trump’s Proposals Always Fall Far Short Of His Promises. President Trump promised that he would allow Medicare to use its buying power to negotiate drug prices directly with suppliers, but after meeting with pharmaceutical executives early in 2017, Trump abandoned that pledge, calling it “price fixing” that would hurt “smaller, younger companies.” 

Trump And His Republican Allies Continue To Block Medicare Negotiation For Lower Drug Prices. Even though  86 percent of Americans support allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries, Republicans refuse to allow Medicare to negotiate. A 2018 Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Democratic Committee report found that Medicare Part D could save $2.8 billion in a single year if it were allowed to negotiate drug prices. Although it would decrease both federal spending and beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs, a policy allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries was recently blocked by Senate Republicans.