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With no new law to curb drug costs, Trump tries own changes

Trump cast his directives as far-reaching, but they mostly update earlier administration ideas that have not yet gone into effect.

July 25, 2020 / 10:50 AM IST

Unable to land the big deal with Congress to curb drug costs, President Donald Trump has moved on his own to allow imports of cheaper medicines, along with other limited steps that could have some election-year appeal. At a White House ceremony Friday, Trump signed four executive orders. One was about importation. The others would direct drugmaker rebates straight to patients, provide insulin and EpiPens at steep discounts to low-income people, and use lower international prices to pay for some Medicare drugs.

Trump cast his directives as far-reaching, but they mostly update earlier administration ideas that have not yet gone into effect.

“I'm unrigging the system that is many decades old,” he declared, promising “massive” savings.

Consumers may not notice immediate changes, since the orders must be carried out by the federal bureaucracy and could face court challenges.