DRUGS/HHS/PHARMA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Merck & Co Chief Executive Ken Frazier said on Thursday [6-20-19] a rule to base the price the U.S. government pays for some prescription drugs in it Medicare program on lower prices in other countries would face legal challenges if adopted. U.S. President Donald Trump said last year that one way his administration would seek to lower drug costs to consumers could be through an international pricing index (IPI) that would determine what Medicare pays for certain medicines based on the prices set in a handful of other countries. A proposed version of the rule is expected in August. Other developed nations with single payer systems typically pay far less for drugs than the United States, which Trump called ‘global freeloading.’ Frazier, a lawyer by trade, did not say whether Merck would launch its own legal challenge to the proposed rule. The company was one of three U.S. drugmakers that sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services this week over a new government regulation requiring them to disclose the list price of prescription drugs in direct-to-consumer television advertisements.”

Michael Erman, “Merck CEO sees legal challenge if U.S. adopts drug pricing based on other countries,” Reuters, June 20, 2019 2:09 pm