May 20, 2018
Trump’s Quest to Lower Rx Costs

The president’s prescription drug proposals aim to ease financial burden

Here are 3 ways Trump’s plans could change the face of LTC Rx

President Trump has talked lowering prescription drug prices as far back as the campaign trail. Now in May of 2018, he delivered a landmark speech addressing the ways the administration seeks to relieve Medicare and traditional pharmacy patients of the bank-breaking costs demanded by top pharmaceutical companies.

Partisan politics aside, Trump’s strategy suggests big changes to a system that’s been in place for decades. And while Democrats and Republicans remain split, the proposal boils down to a few key components capable of lowering costs for people all across America. Top news outlets covered all the bases, but here at SpecialtyRx, we’re taking a focused look at a few matters directly impacting skilled nursing and LTC facilities.

 

 

Changes Target the Elderly

Although the plans won’t grant complete negotiating power, Trump suggested modifications that could provide Medicare patients preferential pricing according to diagnosed illness. In addition, legislators are toying with a ‘value based’ buying strategy in which patients potentially receive a full refund if a prescription fails to work properly.

Transparency Trumps All

Due to current regulation and marketing trends, most Rx commercials feature already a list of side effects set against the smiling images of happy patients. The president was elusive but implied that the government may force drug companies to also disclose prices in their advertisements. This sounds like a clear positive for consumers, although plenty of questions abound.

Goodbye to Gag

It’s a tricky topic for those in the industry. When discussing Medicare Part D, Trump referred to gag clauses as a ‘total rip off.’ Pharmacies and managers could see a huge overhaul of current contract allowances. In short, the legislation would permit pharmacists to tell buyers about discounts available when they pay in cash. Only time will tell if such sweeping changes take effect.

*Details originally reported by The New York Times & Consumer Reports, May 2018

Reasonable—or Radical?

Ultimately, Trump’s proposal boasts a number of attractive perks for the senior population. On top of the aforementioned, low-income Medicare patients could see free generic drugs. Other customers may also be entitled to a sliver of drug rebate money, which usually goes straight to the insurance company.

As care providers, we always have patients’ best interests at heart. But in light of the president’s new Rx blueprints, it’s clear these policies could mean big changes for LTC facilities everywhere. So stay in touch for the latest in federal health care news.