WASHINGTON — Less than two weeks before the midterm elections, President Trump on Thursday announced a plan to lower prices for some prescription drugs, saying it would stop unfair practices that force Americans to pay much more than people in other countries for the same medications.

“We are taking aim at the global freeloading that forces American consumers to subsidize lower prices in foreign countries through higher prices in our country,” Trump said in a speech at the Department of Health and Human Services. “Same company. Same box. Same pill. Made in the exact same location, and you would go to some countries and it would be 20 percent of the cost of what we pay.”

Trump predicted the plan will save Americans billions. “We’re fixing it,” he said.

But consumers take note:

– The plan would not apply to medicines people buy at the pharmacy, just ones administered in a doctor’s office, as are many cancer medications and drugs for immune system problems. Physician-administered drugs can be very expensive, but pharmacy drugs account for the vast majority of what consumers buy.

– Don’t expect immediate rollbacks. Officials said the complex proposal could take more than a year to put into effect.

In another twist, the plan is structured as an experiment through a Medicare innovation center empowered to seek savings by the Affordable Care Act. That’s the law also known as “Obamacare,” which Trump is committed to repealing.

Trump has long promised sweeping action to attack drug prices, both as president and when he was running for the White House. He made his latest announcement just ahead of the Nov. 6 elections, with health care high among voters’ concerns.

Under the plan, Medicare payment for drugs administered in doctors’ offices would gradually shift to a level based on international prices. Prices in other countries are lower because governments directly negotiate with manufacturers.

Drugmakers immediately pushed back, arguing the plan amounts to government price-setting.

“The administration is imposing foreign price controls from countries with socialized health care systems that deny their citizens access and discourage innovation,” Stephen Ubl, president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said in a statement.

Trump is linking the prices Americans complain about to one of his longstanding grievances: foreign countries the president says are taking advantage of U.S. research breakthroughs.

Drug pricing expert Peter Bach of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Center for Health Policy and Outcomes called the plan “a pretty substantive proposal” but one that faces “serious political challenges.”

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