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NEWS & ANALYSIS

Biden v. Diabetics: New Freeze on Trump’s Lower Cost Insulin and Epinephrine Rule Benefits Big Pharma

Big Pharma did not like Donald Trump, but they certainly like Joe Biden – especially now. 

In an ongoing frenzy to undo everything Trump did over the last four years, Joe Biden froze a December rule aimed at lowering prescription drug prices for insulin and epinephrine. 

On Thursday, Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services announced the new rule would be put on hold, along with several other Trump-era orders pending a 60 day review, The Federalist reports. Biden Chief of Staff Ron Klain directed federal agencies on Wednesday to pause orders that had been signed and published by Trump’s administration but not yet effective. 

In December, 2020 Trump ordered community health centers deliver savings and discounts to low-income patients for the purchase of insulin and epinephrine in efforts to make high drug costs more affordable. Insulin is used to treat diabetes, which more than 20 million Americans struggle with every day, while epinephrine is used to treat allergic reactions.

Big Pharma hated Trump because one of his campaign promises was lowering the prices of important pharmaceutical drugs, which he tackled during his term. Trump’s “most favored nation” law aimed to lower prices in Medicare by linking the costs of certain medicines to cheaper prices in other developed countries. Obviously, Big Pharma strongly opposed the measure, arguing it would limit access.

The big three insulin producers are Eli Lilly and Company, Novo Nordisk A/S, and Sanofi S.A., in which they dominate more than 90% of the world insulin market by value, SWFI reports.

Indeed, these three companies will benefit greatly from the freeze. 

Interestingly enough, during the 2020 election cycle Eli Lilly gave $138,880 to Joe Biden. Perhaps he is just returning the favor.

Biden has faced much scrutiny after the freeze, many wondering what is the point? 

 

 

 

 

 

“This freeze is part of the Biden administration’s large-scale effort announced this week that will scrutinize the Trump administration’s health policies,” Bloomberg Law reports, per The Federalist. “If the previous administration’s policies raise ‘fact, law, or policy’ concerns, the Biden HHS will delay them and consult with the Office of Management and Budget about other actions.”

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