Drug prices Drug pricing and the impact of rebates continues to be a fiercely debated topic in the pharmaceutical industry across legislators, public interest groups and industry insiders. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The White House has reversed its ruling from earlier this year that would have amended the safe harbor regulations eliminating traditional rebates and requiring discounts be moved to the point of sale. The ruling was designed to decrease the overall cost of drugs and lower the out-of-pocket cost burden for Medicare and Medicaid recipients with the largest impact being to the Medicare population and health plans.

While the proposed ruling was well-intentioned, most industry associations and organizations predicted that while it would decrease the member impact at the point of sale, the overall impact would likely produce higher premiums and increase the cost of the program to the federal government. Some estimated federal costs could expand by $177 billion over the next ten years.

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