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Would Trumps new drug-imports plan do much to prices, or to pharma?

July 31, 2019 / Eric Sagonowsky

The Pharma industry cheered when the Trump administration introduced a proposal putting drug pricing rebates in the crosshairs. But like so many other drug pricing ideas over the years, the measure didnt go anywhere. Now, the administration is switching gears to importation. HHS on Wednesday presented a plan for bringing in cheaper drugs from Canada, an approach the industry staunchly opposes. It marks a major shift from previous policies on imports, but the plan itself might not do much to lower prices—or hurt pharma, according to one industry watcher. The plan would allow imports through two pathways. The first would let states, wholesalers or pharmacists launch pilot projects to import drugs from Canada that are approved in the U.S. and “manufactured consistent with the FDA approval.” Under the second, the FDA could allow manufacturers to import drugs under new national drug codes, potentially allowing for lower prices than those stipulated by existing contracts. T...