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Sometimes I don't understand politics. Lost in the Friday afternoon dump (which is when the federal government usually makes announcements to which it hopes nobody will pay attention, the White House announced the signing of four long promised executive orders that promise to have an impact on prescription drug pricing, a subject affecting most of those treating type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Among the promises these orders present:

• Tie drug prices to an international price index, which is often lower priced than in the USA.

• Allow pharmacies and wholesalers to import drugs from lower-cost countries.

• Force federal community health centers to share discounts on insulin and Epi-Pens with patients.

• Crack down on health plans and PBMs (Pharmacy Benefits Managers) that do not share manufacturer rebates with patients.

However, drug companies will have 30 days to counter the international price index requirement with their own proposal and the new orders are not expected to result in a near term reduction in consumer pricing.

Additionally, the administration's own actuaries have predicted that healthcare premiums could rise by up to 25% as healthcare companies and PBMs seek to replace cost savings fueled by drug manufacture kickbacks, and health science researchers say the profits from the American drug market are what is fueling the development of vaccines and therapies that could provide a treatment for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Skeptics believe the new rules are more political than likely to produce tangible, material effects for Americans dependent on prescriptions for treating chronic conditions such as Diabetes. Which makes me wonder, why toss the news into Friday afternoon data dump?

Fuskie
Who is hoping the skeptics are wrong and that the new rules will have an impact on consumer prescription pricing, but in the meantime, has been forced to give up his pharmacist of 20 years to move to his healthcare company's impersonal mail-order service in order to get the 90 supplies at 1/3 the price the PBM (not coincidentally owned by the healthcare company) that his pharmacist was allowed to charge for 30 day refills...

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