The Trump administration has eliminated its sweeping proposal to get rid of discounts from authorities drug plans, a White House spokesperson confirmed to POLITICO.
“Primarily based on cautious analysis and thorough consideration, the president has determined to withdraw the rebate rule,” spokesperson Judd Deere stated in an announcement. “The Trump administration is inspired by continuing bipartisan conversations about laws to cut back outrageous drug prices imposed on the American people, and President Trump will think about using any and all tools to make sure that prescription drug prices will continue to say no.”
The proposal — a centerpiece of the Trump administration’s strategy to cut back drug costs — had split HHS and the White House. HHS Secretary Alex Azar had argued that reducing rebates would result in decrease list costs, warning in April that any policy that fails to deal with rebates “will simply not get list costs down.” However, the proposal had confronted resistance from domestic policy chief Joe Grogan and other fiscal hawks on grounds that it was too costly — costing the government almost $180 billion over a decade.
Some lawmakers also worried the rule would increase seniors’ Medicare Part D premiums.
Axios first reported that the White House was pulling the rule.
In an announcement today, HHS pointed to ongoing efforts to cut back drug costs. “Secretary Azar is fighting alongside President Trump to decrease prescription drug prices and defend America’s seniors,” HHS spokesperson Caitlin Oakley stated.