HHS Secretary says administration will push ahead with drug pricing reforms

HHS Secretary Alex Azar said Friday the Trump administration will move forward with drug pricing reforms despite pushback from the pharmaceutical industry.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar said Friday the Trump administration will move forward with drug pricing reforms despite pushback from the pharmaceutical industry. "Finally seeing this system reformed, in fact, is one of the pharmaceutical industry's ultimate nightmares," said Azar, a former Eli Lily executive, at a Brookings Institution event in Washington. "I can tell you that because it used to be my job to have pharmaceutical nightmares." Azar was defending the administration's latest, and most aggressive action yet, to target escalating drug prices. A proposal announced Thursday by President Trump and Azar would base payments for some drugs off of lower prices in other countries. The policy would only apply to Medicare Part B, which covers drugs administered in doctors' offices. The administration will accept public comments before implementing its proposal, which does not require congressional approval. It is expected to face strong headwinds from the pharmaceutical industry, which is on track to spend more on lobbying this year than it has in recent history.