President Joe Biden recently signed an executive order that aims at lowering drug prices, and it actually has teeth.  One provision is that the government can now take legal action against companies that collude to try and keep generic drugs from coming to market.  Another allows states and Indian tribes to import drugs from Canada.  He also directed the FDA’s parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, to issue proposed rules within 120 days to allow hearing aids to be sold over the counter.  The four largest makers of hearing aides control 84% of the market.  Because they are so expensive, only 14% of the 48 million Americans suffering from hearing loss use the devices.  Still, some criticized the order because it doesn’t give Medicare the power to directly negotiate prices with drug companies.  “Negotiation of prices is the biggest and best solution,” to lowering drug prices, said Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Center for Health Research, a nonprofit based in Washington D.C.

 

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