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May 14, 2018
Contact: HHS Press Office
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ICYMI: Secretary Azar's Remarks on the Trump Administration's Drug Pricing Blueprint

Today, Secretary Azar delivered remarks on President Trump's blueprint to bring down the high price of prescription drugs and put American patients first, here are a few excerpts from his speech as prepared for delivery:

"You heard President Trump make it clear on Friday how important tougher negotiation is. That is exactly what our plan brings to Medicare, in an effective and targeted fashion. We are delivering on President Trump's promise to do smart bidding and tough negotiation in Medicare: We are going to bring negotiation to where it doesn't exist, in Part B, and making negotiation more effective than it is today, in Part D."

"You can imagine what happens when you're developing a drug: It's much more appealing for the drug to go into Part B, where the government just pays the bill you send them, than Part D. ... In short order, we will be issuing a request for proposal to make new use of an alternative system for buying Part B drugs, a Competitive Acquisition Program. We believe there are more private sector entities equipped to negotiate these better deals in Part B, and we want to let them do it. More broadly, the President has called for me to merge Medicare Part B into Part D, where negotiation has been so successful."

"For too long, there's been a lot of talk on drug prices, and no action. Drug companies have insisted we can have new cures or affordable prices, but not both. I've been a drug company executive—I know the tired talking points: the idea that if one penny disappears from pharma profit margins, American innovation will grind to a halt. I'm not interested in hearing those talking points anymore, and neither is the President."

To reach the full remarks as prepared for delivery, please visit: https://www.hhs.gov/about/leadership/secretary/speeches/2018-speeches/remarks-on-drug-pricing-blueprint.html

Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other news materials are available at https://www.hhs.gov/news.
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Last revised: May 14, 2018

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