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Trump unveils plan to slash the cost of insulin for Medicare enrollees.

The U.S. President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order on July 24, that was intended to lower the price of insulin for some Americans.

The U.S. President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order on July 24, that was intended to lower the price of insulin for some Americans.On May 26, 2020, Trump unveiled a plan to cap the cost of insulin for Medicare recipients at $35 per month beginning in 2021. 'Across the Nation, participating enhanced Part D plans will provide many seniors with Medicare access to a broad set of insulins at a maximum $35 copay for a month’s supply of each type of insulin,' the White House press release stated. The extent to which senior citizens will benefit from this move is yet to be gauged as the plan is yet to be implemented, and the benefit is only available to the seniors enrolled in the specified insurance plans.

On July 24, 2020, Trump issued the Executive Order on Access to Affordable Life-saving Medications. The fourth proposal requires the provision of insulin and/or an EpiPen free through an existing program mandating pharmaceutical companies to provide steep discounts to thousands of hospitals and community health centers that serve large numbers of low-income patients. However, that plan still hasn’t been enacted.

Trump’s directive pertained to 'federally qualified health centers' (FQHC), which are about 1,400 community health care clinics nationwide that treat low-income patients on sliding fee scales and purchase discounted drugs from pharmaceutical companies under an existing federal program, known as 340B.

Moreover, the Department of Health and Human Services in its press release said that only patients with low incomes, those with high cost-sharing requirements for insulin or epinephrine, those with high, unmet deductibles, and/or those without health insurance would be eligible for the discount.

The cap on copays is expected to lead to a small increase in premiums. The new benefit would also cover a range of insulin products, including pen and vial forms for rapid-acting, short-acting, intermediate-acting, and long-acting versions. The insulin benefit will be available in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. The fate of drug pricing legislation ultimately seems to rest with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has a much more ambitious plan for Medicare to negotiate prices for the costliest drugs, not just insulin.

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