July 11 (UPI) — The White House said Thursday that it was abandoning its proposed rule that would have banned drug price rebates collected by pharmacy benefit managers.

The rule, one that the Trump administration had hailed as a move to bring down prescription drug costs, was supported by large pharmaceutical companies, who have blamed the rebates to managers for the high cost of drugs in the United States.

The administration’s new rule would have banned such rebates in Medicare and Medicaid, requiring the pharmacy benefit managers to pass the rebates on to patients at the pharmacy counter and find new ways to make up the revenue.

“Based on careful analysis and thorough consideration, the president has decided to withdraw the rebate rule,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said.

“The Trump administration is encouraged by continuing bipartisan conversations about legislation to reduce outrageous drug costs imposed on the American people, and President Trump will consider using any and all tools to ensure that prescription drug costs will continue to decline,” Deere added.

Some critics of the new rules complained that the measure did not force pharmaceuticals to drop their prices and could have cost taxpayers billions. The White House and the Department of Health and Human Service tried to resolve its own differences over the proposal while pharmacy benefit managers complained.

In another blow to Trump’s campaign against drug prices, a federal judge blocked the administration from forcing pharmaceutical companies to list the prices of medication in television advertisements Monday.

The judge said the Department of Health and Human Services lacks the authority from Congress to regulate drug marketing.



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