EpiPen auto-injection epinephrine pens manufactured by Mylan NV pharmaceutical company for use by severe allergy sufferers are seen in Washington, U.S. August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
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President Donald Trump's plan to lower U.S. drug prices avoids some of the harshest steps that the pharmaceutical industry and the network of companies that distribute its products feared. Calling his proposal the most sweeping attempt in U.S. history to lower drug prices, Trump wants to increase competition for medicines, cut list prices and reduce patients' out-of-pocket costs. Trump had previously backed both of those ideas, promising to use the government's buying power to get better deals.While Trump criticized the PBMs, the agency's plan gives the companies new powers in Medicare Part D, the U.S. program to provide seniors with drug coverage.Those drugs are currently covered under the regular Medicare program, known as Part B. Shifting them to Part D program, where their prices would be negotiated by PBMs, could lower their prices while also giving the industry more business.The drug industry's Washington-based lobbying group said some parts of the plan could undermine Medicare Part D while other changes shouldn't be made to Medicare Part B if they would lead to higher costs or limited access to drugs.Express Scripts said that Trump's proposals showed the company was more important than ever, and blamed drugmakers for high prices.Another part of Trump's plan is to pressure U.S. trading partners to loosen price restrictions and pay more for medicines.
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