July 27, 2020
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Federal Issues

President Trump signs orders aiming to lower prescription drug prices

Despite some policymakers’ attempts to include proposals aimed at lowering drug prices as part of the next COVID-19 relief package, President Trump signed four executive orders on Friday concerning drug pricing that direct the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to:

  • Require federally qualified health centers who purchase insulins and epinephrine in the 340B program to pass the savings from discounted drug prices directly on to patients;
  • Finalize a rule allowing states to develop safe importation plans for prescription drugs;
  • Take action to ensure that the Medicare program and seniors pay no more for the most costly Medicare Part B drugs than any economically comparable country, as ranked by the international Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); and
  • End “the system of kickbacks by middlemen and insurers behind high out-of-pocket costs” in order for Americans to receive these kickbacks as discounts in Medicare Part D.

CNBC covered the story, and Reuters has an explainer on what the executive orders will accomplish.

« Back to Main
Stay Safe Washington
Prepare for Post-Pandemic Life

When the mills close, what's next?

By Mac Alexander Macdonald

What do communities do when their chief sources of income evaporate?

"Re-galvanize and reinvent," says Marc Abshire, executive director of the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce. But what can we do as citizens to contribute to making this a place where industry wants to locate? What will people in the future want to purchase or acquire, and then how do we attract those companies, while nurturing the businesses we currently have? Complacency is not an option, and neither is hope alone.

For a company to partner with an area, it needs a ready and ample workforce. Are people being trained for the skills needed? Will enough housing be available? Will company executives and workers feel comfortable having their medical needs met? Will all employees feel comfortable having their kids educated in the local schools?

Robert Duvall's second famous line in the movie "Apocalypse Now" was, "Someday this war is going to end." Someday this pandemic will be over, so we need to prepare now. Communities like mine need to lay aside rivalries and attract passengers to their future train. It has been well quoted: When the time for action arrives, the time for preparation has passed.

Read the full guest column in The Seattle Times