President Trump has signed House Bill S. 2553, the "Know the Lowest Price Act of 2018", and House Bill S. 2554, the "Patients Right to Know Drug Prices Act" on Wednesday October 10th, 2018.
It was in May of 2018 that President Trump first announced his Drug Prices Blueprint along with Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar. Both men expressed deep desire in lowering drug prices urgently while listing numerous actions that they were planning to take.
Of the many actions listed, the simple yet extremely effective idea of demolishing the pharmaceutical gag rules has now been set into effect. This action will lower drug prices as it promotes supply & demand as well as market competition. We now have the ability to ask our doctors and pharmacists about cheaper drug options whether we are buying them out of pocket, with an insurer or even through government programs such as Medicare part D where specific gag clauses have been targeted.
It's painful to contemplate. American citizens suffering, dying from illnesses while pharmacies and medical establishment are (were) gleefully utilizing gag rules. A gag rule is a regulation or initiative that prevents public discussion of a particular matter. Doctors, insurers and pharmacists often cover their mouths about cheaper drug options, refusing to answer when asked and even directing patients to buy the most (or not the least) expensive option available.
One of the main economic factors which influences what we pay for certain products is competition. If you can make a certain product similar to what I can make AND you can sell it cheaper.. Surely you will win the competition. This means that consumers will enjoy a cheaper product immediately, while I (in this scenario) must find a way to compete and lower my prices. This constant back and forth of capitalism competition keeps inflation relatively low and can have major impacts on the average price of an item.
Likewise, supply and demand plays a giant role in product cost. Generally speaking, a larger supply should produce a lower cost. With gag rules in place, the true supply is suppressed as other and cheaper products are hidden or undisclosed.
In conclusion, price transparency has finally been instituted into our out of control prescription drug world. This transparency will produce immense and immediate competition within the pharmaceuticals industry while greatly increasing the true supply of available prescription drugs. With the actions taken by President Trump, Secretary Alex Azar and of course Congress, our sails have been set to lower drug costs for all. Let's sit back and watch it happen.
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