Trump proposes to lower drug prices by basing them on other countries' costs

President Trump on Thursday offered a plan to drive down the price Medicare pays for some prescription drugs, a move that could save taxpayers billions of dollars but also faces resistance from the pharmaceutical industry.

President Trump on Thursday offered a plan to drive down the price Medicare pays for some prescription drugs, a move that could save taxpayers billions of dollars but also faces resistance from the pharmaceutical industry. As part of a demonstration project covering one-half of the country, Medicare would establish an "international pricing index" and use it as a benchmark in deciding how much to pay for drugs covered by Part B of Medicare. The proposal wouldn't likely go into effect until late 2019 or 2020. The Trump administration will accept public comments before starting the project. The proposal will most likely face fierce political resistance from drug makers, some health care providers, and some Republicans in Congress, and it could also be subject to legal challenges. "The administration is imposing foreign price controls from countries with socialized health care systems that deny their citizens access and discourage innovation," said Stephen Ubl, the president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, adding that the proposal would "threaten patient access to innovative lifesaving medicines." Trump's announcement came a few hours after his administration released a government study that said Medicare was paying 80% more than other advanced industrial countries for some of the most costly physician-administered medicines.