HHS Secy: Pres. Trump’s drug proposal ‘replaces system of backdoor deals’

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 3:20 PM PT – Sat. February 2, 2019

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar takes to social media to tout President Trump’s new drug pricing proposal.

In a video posted to Twitter Saturday Azar said the proposal has the potential to be the “most significant change in how drugs are priced at the pharmacy counter ever”.

FILE- In this Oct. 26, 2018, file photo Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks about proposed reforms to Medicare Part B drug pricing policies at the Brookings Institute in Washington. The Trump administration says it is moving ahead with a plan to let patients directly receive prescription drug discounts negotiated behind-the-scenes between drugmakers, middlemen, and insurers. Azar said Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019, the proposed regulation would encourage the major industry players to channel any such discounts to consumers when they purchase their prescriptions. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

The proposal calls for banning drug makers from providing rebates to pharmacy benefit managers in Medicare and Medicaid managed care plans.

Azar referred to these managers as middle-men who get a kickback from the drug companies when patients buy their medications

“How can anyone possibly defend this catastrophically broken status quo that rewards higher prices, conceals kickbacks to middlemen and denies seniors tens of billions of dollars in savings at the pharmacy counter?” said Azar.

According to Azar, if a patient pays $300 for medications the “kickback” could be anywhere between $60 to $100.