NEW YORK — President Donald Trump has proposed sweeping new federal regulations that would slash the cost of prescription opioids by almost a third, while also banning sales of so-called fentanyl and heroin.
Trump’s proposal calls for the federal government to require insurers to cover every opioid drug, including painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet, with a list of prescription drugs.
It also calls for drug companies to provide a list with their approved use and price tags.
It would also require insurers covering Medicare patients to provide information on drug-related deaths.
The proposal comes as Trump has tried to push through sweeping changes to federal health care, including rolling back many of the Affordable Care Act’s most popular provisions and the repeal of the nation’s most important consumer protections.
The changes are part of a broader push to reduce costs and stabilize the nation amid the country’s opioid crisis.
The White House said the proposal is intended to address the opioid crisis and reduce the cost to Americans.
The proposal is being proposed by Trump’s health and human services secretary, Tom Price, and would be included in a 2018 budget proposal.
Trump also is expected to sign legislation to expand the availability of emergency opioid medication.
Price, who was confirmed as Trump’s secretary of health and Human Services in January, said the plan would help lower costs and save money for the government.
“We know there is a very significant epidemic, and the opioid abuse epidemic is a major contributor to the rise of opioid use,” he said at a White House briefing.
“We’re going to be spending billions of dollars to try to reduce this crisis, and this will help us get there.”
Price said the new proposal would reduce the number of prescriptions for opioids by 30 percent to reduce their supply and by 70 percent to prevent abuse and addiction.
The opioid crisis has seen a spike in the use of opioids by doctors and nurses who are increasingly prescribing them.
Price said opioids are not only addictive, but also have a high potential for abuse and can lead to a range of health problems including death.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it had identified more than 3,200 cases of the fatal overdose of an opioid-related drug in 2016.
The number of opioid-associated deaths increased to 9,851 in 2017, the latest year for which data is available.