Top Trump official to pharmaceutical industry: President won't stop until drug prices drop

When it comes to rising drug prices, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has a stern message for pharmaceutical companies and pharmacy benefit managers.

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“The president and I will not stop until list prices of drugs come down. This behavior has to stop,” Azar told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Wednesday following his meeting with Trump. “We will roll out more regulatory and legislative proposals and we will work with Democrats and Republicans to get drug prices down.”

President Trump has railed against drug companies for high prescription drug prices.  As a result, some companies, including Amgen, Merck and Gilead, have taken steps to reduce the list price of some products, according to Azar. However, at the start of 2019, more than three dozen drugmakers raised the prices of medicines in the U.S., according to Rx Savings Solutions.

According to Azar, the current system of raising prices on products to remain competitive is pointless.

“The companies that have increased their prices here on Jan. 1 all admitted they were doing so basically to funnel kickbacks in the form of rebates to pharmacy benefit managers to keep preferred status of their drugs on the formularies available to patients,” he said.

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Azar added that the administration is willing to work with “anyone” to keep “America’s patients safe.”

“All options are on the table,” he said.

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