White House preparing to activate "most favored nation" drug-pricing

Implementation of President Donald Trump's proposal to lower certain Medicare drug prices to match what other wealthy countries pay could come as soon as this week, people familiar with the matter told The Hill.  

The president signed an executive order in September calling for the "most favored nation" rule to take effect, but so far it has not been used. 

The plan is opposed by the pharmaceutical industry and many congressional Republicans who say it constitutes price controls. The proposal is similar to ideas proposed by Democrats to lower drug prices, increasing the odds that the incoming Biden-Harris administration would continue it if implemented, according to The Hill

The administration is preparing to implement the rule as soon as this week, and it will likely take the form of an interim final rule, which allows the administration to skip some steps in the regulatory process to get it activated quicker, sources told The Hill

The policy change would only affect people who get their prescriptions through Medicare, not those with private insurance. It's unclear whether the prices will apply to both Medicare Part B and Part D drugs. Plan details haven't been released, The Hill reported. 

A spokesperson for HHS told The Hill that the department didn't have any announcements, and a White House spokesperson didn't respond to The Hill's request for comment. 

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