July 24 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump on Friday signed four executive orders he said will lead to "massive" reductions in prescription drug costs.
He said the measures would put the financial savings directly into the pockets of patients.
"I'm signing four sweeping executive orders that will lead to a massive reduction in drugs costs," Trump said during a signing ceremony at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
The orders "will completely restore the prescription drug market in terms of prices."
The first order will allow less expensive drugs to be imported from foreign country. The second allows drug company rebates to go directly to patients instead of healthcare providers. The third gives discounts directly to patients, bypassing pharmacy benefit managers. And the fourth slashes the prices Medicare pays on drugs to be more in line with other countries, what Trump calls a "most favored nation" status.
All four orders are subject to regulatory review.
Trump said the Medicare order would go into effect Aug. 25 to give pharmaceutical companies time to propose an alternative.
The orders come as major pharmaceutical companies across the globe race to develop therapeutic treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, a novel coronavirus that's killed more than 634,000 people over the past several months, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Trump has made lowering drug prices one of the focuses of his administration, one year ago announcing a plan to allow cheaper, foreign drugs to be imported to the United States.