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Opinion
Max Nisen

Trump's Week of Drug-Price Failures Has a Silver Lining

A now-dead rule targeting rebates wasn't a good idea in the first place and frees the administration to work on something better.

Trump’s  best strategy? Shake off the drug-price setbacks and move ahead.

Trump’s  best strategy? Shake off the drug-price setbacks and move ahead.

Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg

President Donald Trump’s efforts to make good on promises to lower prescription-drug costs suffered a couple of major setbacks this week. With luck, though, these reversals may clear a path for better solutions.  

A judge started the week by derailing a Trump administration plan to force drugmakers to disclose the high list prices of their medicines in TV ads. Then, late Wednesday, the White House confirmed it is scrapping an ambitious effort to change how the government pays for drugs. The now-dead plan called for eliminating some of the rebates received by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) – the middlemen that negotiate drug costs for health plans.