USA Today, America’s top newspaper ranked by circulation, says claims circulating on social media that the Biden administration raised insulin prices by freezing a 340B-related Trump administration rule are “missing context.”
Last Friday, the national newspaper’s Fact Check feature delved into the online debate, which flared up after the new administration’s Jan. 21 decision to push back, from Jan. 22 until March 22, the effective date of the Trump administration’s rule to require health centers to provide insulin and injectable epinephrine to low-income patients at the price centers pay for those drugs under the 340B program. The rule implements an executive order Trump signed in July.
340B health centers, which lobbied for the freeze, say that while they support making insulin more affordable, making them give up their 340B program savings can actually harm, not help, low-income patients and does nothing to make drug manufacturers reduce their insulin prices.
Representing the other side of the debate, USA Today cited this Jan. 22 Facebook post stating, “Biden is now reversing the executive order put into place by President Trump to reduce pricing for insulin and epinephrine … This is NOT a partisan issue and will harm Americans.”
“We rate this claim about the Biden administration’s action to be MISSING CONTEXT, based on our research,” USA Today concluded. “Some patients who use insulin and EpiPens—the fraction who are served by federally qualified health centers—may benefit from Trump’s order, but others could suffer if it results in decreased access for the centers to the 340B drug discount program. Also, the freeze through March 22 does not represent final action on the program, so it’s premature to call it a ‘reversal.’”