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Trump finally releases controversial drug price executive order

September 13, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

More than seven weeks after President Donald Trump signed four executive orders aimed at lowering drug prices, the White House finally released Sunday perhaps the most controversial one.

(CNN)More than seven weeks after President Donald Trump signed four executive orders aimed at lowering drug prices, the White House finally released Sunday perhaps the most controversial one.

It calls for Medicare to test paying the same price for certain expensive prescription drugs that other developed countries do, a "most-favored-nation price. " Other nations typically pay far less for medications, in large part because their governments often determine the cost -- which runs counter to Republicans' allegiance to the free market system.

Though Trump has slammed socialist health care systems that exist in other countries and attacked his Democratic rivals for seeking to implement such a setup here, he celebrated linking US prices to peer nations' lower costs.

"Just signed a new Executive Order to LOWER DRUG PRICES!

At the time, he said he was holding a meeting with drug company executives to present their ideas for reducing costs and would hold off on implementing the action for a month.

On Sunday, White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere said the administration gave drug makers a month to come up with a counter proposal.

The other actions signed in July mainly recycle proposals the administration has floated in the past, including importing lower-cost medication from other countries and effectively banning drug makers from providing billions of dollars in rebates to pharmacy benefit managers and insurers in Medicare and Medicaid.

Unlikely to have any impact before the election, the executive orders come at a time when Trump is trying to fulfill his longstanding campaign promise to lower drug prices, though little movement has been made.

However, they also come at a time when Trump is courting drug makers to swiftly develop vaccines and treatments for Covid-19 and inking hefty deals to do so.

The President first outlined an International Pricing Index proposal to set Medicare reimbursement levels for certain drugs on their cost in other countries in October 2018, seeking to bolster Republicans' standing on health care days before the midterm election.

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