May 10, 2018

NOTE TO REPORTERS

In Speech, Trump to Miss Historic Opportunity to Make Medicines Affordable

Big Pharma’s Deep Influence Swamps Administration With Conflicts

By indications so far, President Donald Trump in his speech on medicine pricing expected Friday afternoon will fail to announce measures to make medicines affordable for consumers. Experts with Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program have analyzed Trump administration proposals in this analysis.

The note provides a detailed analysis of the modest, positive measures expected to be proposed, as well as the anticipated harmful measures that will actually raise prices. It also details the measures that Trump should pursue if he actually cares about lowering costs: Enabling Medicare negotiation; ending price spikes; and curbing monopoly abuses.

Trump appointed former Lilly USA President Alex Azar to run the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, despite Azar’s record of tripling insulin prices. Many Trump administration staff members also have ties to the pharmaceutical industry. In response to news reports that pharmaceutical giant Novartis paid $1.2 million to Essential Consulting, LLC, the firm established by Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen, Public Citizen called on Novartis to disclose the full, written agreements it maintained and what services were in fact provided.

“People want to know that medicines will be affordable. Instead, we’re learning how price-gouging corporations have bought unprecedented influence with this White House,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program. “Fundamentally the administration is not challenging the monopoly power of corporations and is passing on a historic opportunity to make medicines more affordable for everyone.”

Public Citizen experts are available to comment.

Read the analysis here.