HHS withdraws Trump-era plan to allow more personal drug, insulin imports
Once again, President Joe Biden’s HHS is canceling another one of former President Donald Trump’s ill-fated plans to lower prescription drug costs.
Back in September, Trump’s HHS issued two requests for proposals on the reimportation of insulin and the personal importation of prescription drugs. The proposals would’ve allowed the HHS Secretary to lift the prohibition on the wider personal importation of prescription drugs or devices.
The convoluted plans, hailed as part of Trump’s “firm and unwavering” determination to give Americans access to fair drug prices, would’ve required state-licensed pharmacies to operate as authorized Individual Waiver Importation Plans, which would be permitted to dispense an FDA-approved drug imported from an acceptable foreign source. Then individuals would apply for waivers through a portal and receive the drug through such a pharmacy.
So why pull the call for proposals now? An FDA spokesperson told Endpoints News via email, “HHS has not received any proposals in response to the January 2021 HHS notice or the referenced requests for proposals. HHS continues to consider alternatives to the requests for proposals.”
This is just one of several ways the Biden administration has put a halt to the previous administration’s drug pricing and regulation plans.
In May, due to “multiple legal and factual inaccuracies,” the Biden administration’s FDA decided to reverse the Trump-era decision to pull the agency’s controversial Unapproved Drugs Initiative.
One month earlier, HHS and FDA withdrew a notice published just days before Trump left office, which would’ve required the FDA to publish redundant information on the timelines for reviewing drug applications. And Biden’s HHS is still working to resolve a Trump-era rule that would indiscriminately eliminate thousands of HHS and FDA regulations.