Trump and Modi Discussions: A Matter of Life and Death

Trump and Modi Discussions: A Matter of Life and Death

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

Note: President Donald Trump meets with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House today. Politico quoted a senior White House official Friday saying, “The U.S. is looking for things like stronger intellectual property protections …[.]”  On Friday, a draft executive order on pharmaceutical pricing leaked, including a provision that would order U.S. agency heads to review foreign countries’ pharmaceutical pricing and intellectual property rules.

Blasé Washington-speak about intellectual property masks the life-and-death nature of what Trump and Modi are discussing today. On access to medicines alone, these leaders hold millions of lives in their hands. As the draft executive order shows, President Trump wants to make foreign countries pay more for medicine, even though that will do nothing to make medicines more accessible in the United States, and exorbitant prices already cost lives around the world.

India is the world’s leading supplier of affordable generic medicines. Millions of people in developing countries depend on this supply. The Trump administration proposal to clamp down on these lifesaving medicines serves Big Pharma’s corporate interests.