Dr. Tom Price, the newly elected secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary, recently informed a House appropriations subcommittee that HHS is working on a new plan with President Donald Trump. The primary objective of the new plan is to considerably reduce the price of pharmaceutical drugs.
Dr. Price stated that the significant increase in the drug prices is one of the major issues that all the members of the Congress will be targeting. He also added that the agency is planning to put forward a new “bidding” system, which will benefit all American citizens.
He also went on to defend the “skinny” budget plan, which was proposed by President Trump a few weeks ago. However, Dr. Price refused to shed more details on what this new plan will be. Reports indicate that the newly proposed plan for reducing the cost of pharmaceutical drugs might be linked to the ability of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to negotiate or bid more.
In a recent statement, President Trump informed the Congressional Black Caucus that, “We’re going to bid on drug prices, and we’re going to try and have the lowest prices anywhere in the world, from really the highest. And that’s not only the drugs, it’s prescription drugs. So we’re going to be instituting a very, very strong bidding process. We’ll probably need some legislation, but we’re going to do it regardless. We have to do it. And we’re going to get drug prices way down, way down.”
The HHS Secretary did not give elaborated information on the President’s call to double user fees in order to make offset cuts to the budget of FDA. However, reports from several reliable sources suggest that more details about this plan will be revealed in the month of May. President Trump had earlier decided to slash the regulations of FDA in order to make the process of medical product approvals a lot more easier.
Dr. Price also supported the plans proposed by President Trump to cut down US National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) budget by 20% in the fiscal year 2018. He said that, “About 30% of the grant money that goes out is used for indirect expenses.” He stated that indirect can also mean building funds or administrative expenses that are not tied or linked to research. “This is the first step to be able to get a bigger bang for the buck,” Dr. Price said, and added that “simply throwing money at a problem” is not an efficient solution.