Trump plan would channel prescription discounts to patients

The Trump administration says it is moving ahead with a plan to channel behind-the-scenes prescription drug discounts directly to consumers.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday his proposed regulation would encourage drugmakers, middlemen and insurers to provide any such discounts to consumers when they purchase their prescriptions.

Drugmakers don’t provide discounts for all their medications, so the impact for consumers remains to be seen.

The proposal would work by doing away with an exemption from federal anti-kickback rules that now allows drugmakers, insurers and middlemen called pharmacy benefit managers to negotiate rebates among themselves.

It would be replaced with a new exemption for discounts offered directly to consumers.

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