Today, the Trump Administration released “American Patients First,” the President’s blueprint to lower drug prices and reduce out-of-pocket costs. Below is the blueprint’s introductory message from HHS Secretary Alex Azar:
The United States is first in the world in biopharmaceutical investment and innovation. Combining our free market system and generous public investment made America home to the first chemotherapy treatments for cancer, the first effective treatments for HIV, the first cure for Hepatitis C, and now, the first therapies that turn our own immune systems against cancer.
But too often, this system has not put American patients first. We have access to the greatest medicines in the world, but access is meaningless without affordability.
When it comes to the cost of prescription drugs, our healthcare system faces four major challenges: high list prices for drugs; seniors and government programs overpaying for drugs due to lack of the latest negotiation tools; out-of-pocket costs for consumers; and foreign governments free-riding off of American investment in innovation.
These problems have often been discussed but gone unaddressed. Under President Trump, that has now changed. This blueprint is a historic plan for bringing down the high price of drugs and reducing out-of-pocket costs for the American consumer.
The time to act is now: Not only are costs spiraling out of control, but the scientific landscape is changing as well. Securing the next generation of cures for the next generation of American patients will require radical reforms to how our system works. Our blueprint will bring immediate relief to American patients while also delivering long-term reforms.
The men and women of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are looking at every facet of HHS’s programs, authorities, and spending. Working with our partners in the private sector, we will turn this vision into action, and thereby improve the health and well-being of every American.