On July 7, 2019, President Donald Trump aboard the Air Force One will return to Washington from the Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown, New Jersey.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
The Trump administration withdrew its proposal to eliminate government drug plan rebates, a key element of the president's plan to lower prescription drug prices, a spokesman confirmed from the White House.
"Based on careful analysis and thorough examination, the president has decided to withdraw the rule on rebates," White House spokesman Judd Deere said Thursday in a statement. communicated.
The actions of health insurers have jumped on the news. UnitedHealth and Cigna underwriters grew by 3.6% and 10% respectively, while CVS Health, which bought the insurer Aetna last year, grew by 6.7% in pre-market transactions.
The administration sought to ban prescription drug discounts that insurers are negotiating with pharmaceutical companies, claiming that these "indirect discounts" had prompted drug manufacturers to set artificially high list prices for drugs. Instead, the rule would give drug benefit managers a lump sum for the inclusion of drugs in their plans and allow discounts to be delivered to patients at the pharmacy counter.
Health and Social Services Secretary Alex Azar presented the plan as a way to "bring real transparency to drug markets and bring savings directly to patients when they go to the pharmacy." However, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the rule would cost $ 177 billion by 2029.
Insurers opposed the proposal, saying it would not meet its goal of reducing the price of prescription drugs.
In a statement, CVS said it was "satisfied" with the decision of the administration and that "any solution should start by reducing the price of drugs".
Axios reported the news sooner.
Deere said the Trump administration was "encouraged by continued bipartisan discussions about legislation" aimed at reducing prescription drug costs and that the president "will consider using any tool "to bring down the price of drugs.
-CNBC Bertha Coombs contributed to this report