Biden administration is not moving swiftly on Trump plan for Canadian drug imports, either.
This week, it is being reported the White House is moving forward with removing a health care policy established by President Donald Trump designed to bring down the price of insulin and epi-pens.
Biden’s bid to retract the rule was approved on Monday, as reported by Politico, with the expectation that the Department of Health and Human Services could publish the retraction within the coming days.
The measure, signed off on under the previous administration in December, aimed to require some 340B community health centers to deliver savings to low-income patients for insulin and epinephrine in a bid to bring down unaffordable prices.
Spokespeople for the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services did not return FOX Business’ request for comment.
Just after Biden was Inaugurated, USA Today “fact checked” the claim that such a move was planned. Once again, the press is forced to do a fact-reversal, one in a long stream of many we have covered at Legal Insurrection.
For diabetic patients, out-of-pocket costs for insulin can be a major expense, whether they are insured in the commercial market, enrolled in Medicare, or have no insurance. The savings Trump created was substantial.
In March, the administration announced a plan to impose an upper limit on what seniors pay at the pharmacy counter; $35 a month. Starting in January 2021 Medicare beneficiaries will have more than 1,600 Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans to choose from that will provide a range of insulin products at a maximum of a $35 monthly co-payment. This is lower than the typical $47 co-payment plans impose in 2020.
To put it in perspective, the average cost of a unit of insulin for a diabetic in the US is about $98; whereas, it is $12 in Australia and $7.50 in Canada.
In related news, Trump had arranged for the importation of insulin from Canada to help reduce costs for Americans. Biden seems hesitant to move forward with those plans.
The Biden administration said Friday it has no timeline on whether it will allow states to import drugs from Canada, an effort that was approved under President Donald Trump as a key strategy to control costs.
Six states have passed laws to start such programs, and Florida, Colorado and New Mexico are the furthest along in plans to get federal approval.
The Biden administration said states still have several hurdles to get through, including a review by the Food and Drug Administration, and such efforts may face pressures from the Canadian government, which has warned its drug industry not to do anything that could cause drug shortages in that country.
“Although two proposals have been submitted to FDA, no timeline exists for the agency to make a decision. Thus, the possible future injuries to Plaintiffs’ members are overly speculative and not imminent,” the Biden administration wrote in a court filing late Friday seeking to dismiss a lawsuit from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, an industry trade group. Drugmakers are asking the court to overturn the rule set by the Health and Human Services Department in October that for the first time approved allowing states to import drugs from Canada.
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