Prescription discounts channeled to patients in Trump plan

The Trump administration has unveiled a plan to channel now-hidden prescription drug rebates directly to patients, saying it would bypass middlemen and lower prices for consumers.

The proposed regulation from Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar would eliminate behind-the-scenes discounts among drugmakers, insurers and go-betweens and instead require that they be paid directly to consumers when they buy their medications.

The idea is to do away with a hidden cost seen as contributing to artificially high list prices for prescription drugs. The proposal was co-authored with the Health and Human Services inspector general’s office.

The plan unveiled Thursday comes as President Donald Trump is under political pressure to deliver results on his repeated promises to slash prescription drug costs.

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