Experts assess Trump’s 7-point healthcare plan
7. Remove barriers to entry into free markets for overseas drug providers.
“This proposal would allow consumers to actively look overseas for pharmaceutical products that are cheap and effective,” says Brill.
Hoagland believes that this component is unlikely to have any direct effect on those factors that currently are responsible for increasing drug costs. In fact, “It would likely require additional bureaucratic measures to evaluate the safety and reliability of the imported drug.”
Mack would like to see Trump’s proposal address how, or by whom, these drugs will be purchased: Individuals; payers; providers; Medicare/Medicaid?
“What is the role, if any, of the FDA in ensuring quality?” Mack asks. “Will Trump allow the importation of drugs from any country in the world? Will Trumpcare encourage or prohibit deals that keep generic drugs off the market, including ‘pay-for-delay’ agreements between brand and generic drug makers that increase prices?”
In addition, Mack says that Trump’s proposal does not mention price and cost transparency—including costs related to research and development, lobbying, etc.
For Johnson, it seems that allowing consumers to actively look overseas for pharmaceutical products that are “cheaper and equally effective makes sense as long as we clamp down on property rights enforcement on patents. However, the pharmaceutical lobby’s power over Congress and the Oval Office cannot be overstated. It would take tremendous political courage to tackle this issue. Both Republicans and Democrats equally have their hands tied unless they work together.”