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UnitedHealthcare to pass drug rebates on to some customers | NBC News

The nation’s biggest health insurer will pass drugmaker rebates along to some customers starting next year, giving a potential break to those taking expensive prescriptions.

UnitedHealthcare said Tuesday it will let people covered by certain employer-sponsored health plans collect rebates when they fill prescriptions or at the point of sale.

Separately, President Donald Trump also has proposed giving rebates directly to Medicare prescription drug customers.

UnitedHealthcare’s plan is a “prime example of the type of movement toward transparency and lower drug prices for millions of patients that the Trump Administration is championing,” U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement Tuesday.

But the industry lobby America’s Health Insurance Plans said these point-of-sale rebates offer limited help in reducing the overall drug prices that make everyone’s cost of coverage rise.

“UnitedHealthcare’s plan is a prime example of the type of movement toward transparency and lower drug prices for millions of patients that the Trump Administration is championing.”

“UnitedHealthcare’s plan is a prime example of the type of movement toward transparency and lower drug prices for millions of patients that the Trump Administration is championing.”
“The bottom line is the original list price of a drug — which is solely determined by the drug manufacturer — drives the entire pricing process,” spokeswoman Cathryn Donaldson said in an email. “And if the original list price is high, the final cost that a patient pays will be high.”

Donaldson said her association was speaking about these rebates in general and not about UnitedHealthcare, which it does not represent.

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UnitedHealthcare to pass drug rebates on to some customers.