DRUGS/MEDICARE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Trump will lay out on Friday [5-11-18] a broad strategy to reduce prescription drug prices, but in a break from one of his most popular campaign promises, he will not call for Medicare to negotiate lower prices with drug manufacturers, senior administration officials said. The White House will issue a blueprint that represents ‘the most comprehensive plan to tackle prescription drug affordability of any president,’ a senior official told journalists on Thursday [5-10-18] night. Under Part D of Medicare, millions of older Americans receive insurance coverage for prescription drugs. The benefit is delivered entirely by private entities under contract with Medicare. These private entities — insurance companies and the middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers — negotiate prices with drugmakers. But under a 2003 law, the federal government ‘may not interfere’ in those negotiations. The president’s plan will make it easier for private plans to negotiate ‘better deals for our seniors, especially for high-cost medications,’ said the senior administration official, who spoke on the condition that he would not be named. The official refused to provide details, which he said would be disclosed on Friday.”

-Robert Pear, “Trump to Drop Call for Medicare to Negotiate Lower Drug Prices,” The New York Times, May 10, 2018