ARTICLE | Politics & Policy

Azar plans to reshape Medicare drug coverage

May 14, 2018 7:51 PM UTC

HHS Secretary Alex Azar brought the Trump administration’s drug pricing plan into sharper focus Monday, making it clear that he is considering administrative steps that could reshape the Medicare drug marketplace. Changes under consideration include shifting some or all Part B drugs to Part D, eliminating disincentives for Part D plans to negotiate lower prices of drugs in protected classes, and scaling back or eliminating payments of rebates to drug plans and PBMs in Part D.

Azar also put the drug industry on notice that he will not accept its contention that any attenuation of revenues will hurt patients by reducing innovation. “I’ve been a drug company executive -- I know the tired talking points: the idea that if one penny disappears from pharma profit margins, American innovation will grind to a halt,” he said in a speech at HHS headquarters. “I’m not interested in hearing those talking points anymore, and neither is the president.”...