White House pre-election demand torpedoes deal to lower drug prices

After negotiating for months, the White House and the pharmaceutical industry's collaborative plan to lower drug prices has fallen apart, according to The New York Times.

In late August, drumakers agreed to spend $150 billion to support patients' out-of-pocket drug costs and pay the bulk of copays for Medicare’s prescription drug program.

This agreement fell apart when President Donald Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, told drugmakers they needed to pay for $100 cash cards that would be delivered to older Americans before the November election, The New York Times reported. 

The cash cards, which would be used to provide older patients with one-time savings for their prescription medications, were rejected by the pharmaceutical industry, as drugmakers viewed them to be ad hoc solutions fueled by politics.

"We could not agree to the administration's plan to issue one-time savings cards right before a presidential election," Priscilla VanderVeer, vice president of public affairs for PhRMA, the  pharmaceutical industry’s largest trade group, told The New York Times. "One-time savings cards will neither provide lasting help, nor advance the fundamental reforms necessary to help seniors better afford their medicines."

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