Last Updated on January 23, 2021
In his ongoing campaign to expunge the Trump presidency, President Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) executed an order that would rescind the Trump administration executive order eliminating the inflated drug prices caused by a “shadowy system of kickbacks by middlemen.”
Last July, President Trump issued four executive orders that instructed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to “end a shadowy system of kickbacks by middlemen that lurks behind the high out-of-pocket costs many Americans face at the pharmacy counter.”
Mr. Trump said the high price of insulin and epinephrine pens (EpiPens) used in emergency situations to combat severe allergic reactions that can often cause death, have cut off low-income people in “desperate” need of the medications.
The slate of executive orders included a directive that required federal community health centers to pass the significant discounts they received from pharmaceutical companies on insulin and EpiPens directly to patients.
Another facet to Mr. Trump’s move to make prescription medication more affordable to the public – and especially to those who were forced out of their insurance plans under Obamacare, allowed states, wholesalers, and pharmacies to offer “safe and legal importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other countries where the price for the identical drug is incredibly lower.”
President Biden's decision to delay a measure to lower insulin and EpiPen prices for those most at need is irresponsible. How is harming our most vulnerable building back better? https://t.co/czKOTSDluc
— Representative Lisa McClain (@RepLisaMcClain) January 23, 2021
The move to rescind Mr. Trump’s cost saving measures by the HHS is just one component of the Biden administration’s government-wide effort, announced this week by the White House, to scrutinize the Trump administration’s healthcare policies.
The Biden administration begins its tenure with several lawsuits at the ready over Trump-era actions that helped the American people by lowering drug prices.
The HHS under President Biden, in its eventual pursuit of a single-payer healthcare system, will ultimately have to address cost-saving measures Mr. Trump put not place that tie drug reimbursement to cheaper foreign drug prices and allows medication imports from Canada.
The Biden administration said it was “re-evaluating” the executive actions of Mr. Trump stating it would be doing so toward the end of March.
It remains unclear if any cost-saving measures it will be reinstated.