July 11, 2018
Trump and Pfizer Know We Can’t Fix Prescription Price Gouging With Tweets
Statement of Peter Maybarduk, Director, Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program
Note: President Donald Trump has engaged in a back-and-forth with Pfizer this week as the corporation hastily agreed to temporarily postpone prescription price hikes a day after the president attacked the company on Twitter.
You can’t fix a systematically corrupt industry by tweeting. Trump’s online quarrel with Pfizer reveals the weakness of his efforts to lower drug prices so far. The administration’s “blueprint” fails to discipline Big Pharma in any meaningful way. Instead, the administration aims to protect manufacturers and help them survive a public health and public relations crisis.
Even Pfizer’s alleged concession to Trump is a sham. Pfizer is only deferring price increases – not canceling them, and certainly not lowering its prices. The President should keep his campaign promise to help Medicare Part D negotiate directly for lower prices, and then start taking away the monopoly power of abusive corporations that have proven time and again they have no capacity to self-regulate.