Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Trump to Push Pharma on Drug Pricing

President Trump is continuing his push to fulfill campaign promises.  Apparently, he is meeting with pharmaceutical companies this week to negotiate lower drug prices.  This seems to be in response to his supposed Executive Order to link the drug prices that Medicare is charged to prices paid by foreign nations.  This was not an exciting development to pharmaceutical companies and they canceled a scheduled meeting with the President to discuss it.  It will be interesting to see if pharmaceutical companies will be willing to "play ball" with President Trump given the election.  For sure, part of the calculation is whether Presidential Candidate Joe Biden's administration would be better for pharmaceutical companies.  My guess is no.  However, I think the Obama Administration did not do as much as it could have on drug pricing directly--except that President Obama signed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act into law which included rules concerning Inter-Partes Review Proceedings.  Also, pharmaceutical companies may be worried about additional Democratic appointees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, where the battle over the scope of patent eligible subject matter is being waged (See American Axle en banc denial), and appointees to the U.S. Supreme Court.  FTC and DOJ antitrust enforcement is another issue as well as trade agreements.  Bayh-Dole Act march in rights could be an issue.  Moreover, under President Trump, pharmaceutical companies may be seeing some light at the USPTO concerning patent eligible subject matter.  Let's see if pharmaceutical companies are going to give President Trump a big win with Seniors (aka people who reliably vote). A compromise setting Medicare pricing near the most developed European countries would be interesting and an improvement.  

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