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Half-Measures Won’t Bring Big Pharma To the Table

Statement of Peter Maybarduk, Director, Public Citizen’s Access To Medicines Program

Note: A White House meeting with pharmaceutical executives has been canceled after two drug maker lobby groups – the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and Biotechnology Innovation Organization – refused to send their members, according to news reports. The meeting was scheduled to follow a set of executive orders President Donald Trump issued Friday about high prescription drug prices.

Half-measures won’t bring Big Pharma to the table. Literally.

The drug giants employ thousands of lobbyists and expect to get their way, absolutely and always.

Trump made, for the umpteenth time, the obvious mistake of thinking that small reforms to make small changes in some drug prices for some people would seem reasonable to an industry that is addicted to monopoly profits. But there is no change so small that Big Pharma will accept.

The better approach is to make good policy by ending drug monopolies, imposing reasonable pricing conditions and forcing prescription drug corporations to comply.