The White House has proposed lowering drug prices through speeding up government approvals and changing trade policies, according to a document released Friday.
In a 30-page document from the Council of Economic Advisers, the administration said it was aiming not only to lower the prices of drugs for consumers but also to spur innovation for pharmaceutical companies. President Trump has said that one of the top priorities for his administration will be tackling the high costs of prescription drugs, and the Friday document is a detailed proposal of how it would achieve that goal.
"This report considers policy options to simultaneously advance these two seemingly conflicting goals," the White House wrote in the executive summary of the document.
The document does not propose allowing the U.S. to reimport drugs from abroad or allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, both proposals Trump appeared to support when he was running for office.
Instead, it blamed "artificially high prices" on government policies that prevent "healthy price competition," such as government regulations. The document said other countries that have lower prices are "free-riding" off the prices the U.S. pays and suggested making alterations to trade policies to close the gap.
It proposed changing the way that government-funded Medicaid programs pay for drugs so that the prices aren't inflated for patients who have private health insurance, as well as moving certain drugs through the government approval process faster so that less expensive alternatives are available.
It also proposed making generic drugs less expensive for people on Medicare, meaning those ages 65 and older, and suggested putting an annual limit on how much beneficiaries could spend on specialty drugs.
Multiple reports have indicated that the president intends to include some of the proposals in his budget proposal expected Monday. The proposals indicate an administration's priorities, but Congress makes decisions about spending and which laws to pass.