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President Donald Trump is expected to sign three executive orders Friday targeting the pharmaceutical industry with the aim of lowering drug prices.
It is unclear what will be included in the three orders.
But one of the orders might allow states and pharmacies to import Canadian drugs, The Washington Post reported, a proposal the White House introduced last year that received intense criticism from drug companies.
Another would tie the prices of some drugs to the lower prices paid in other countries, a proposal regarded as an international pricing index, according to the Post. This proposal would attempt to guarantee that the United States doesn’t pay more for drugs than other countries do.
And while Trump is expected to sign these executive orders, the regulatory process itself could take months and might bleed into November, when voters choose whether to elect Trump for a second term.
Prescription drug prices have long been a concern for many Americans, one that comes as Democrats and Republicans clash over the issue of health care. The Trump administration has spoken about and made moves to roll back the Affordable Care Act, health-care reform signed into law by former President Barack Obama.
The executive orders also come at a time when the administration is infusing billions of dollars into the pharmaceutical industry to push out a vaccine to treat the coronavirus.
The coronavirus outbreak has spread worldwide, with more than 15.3 million confirmed cases and over 625,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has had more than 3.9 million cases and at least 143,466 deaths, according to the latest tallies, more than any other country.