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Trump Needs to Rethink Prescription Prices in Light of Canceled Speech

April 23, 2018


Trump Needs to Rethink Prescription Prices in Light of Canceled Speech

Administration Proposal Won’t Fix High Prescription Prices

The postponing of President Donald Trump’s expected speech on prescription prices this week shows that the administration badly needs to rethink its ineffective approach. By all indications, the measures the White House is considering will fail to significantly reduce the burden of high prices on consumers. Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines experts analyze Trump administration proposals for prescription pricing policy in this reporters’ note.

“President Trump promised to lower drug prices, then appointed a Big Pharma executive who had tripled the price of insulin to run the nation’s healthcare agency,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program. “The administration is failing to challenge the monopoly power of the pharmaceutical industry and is giving up a historic opportunity to make medicines more affordable for everyone.”

“Until President Trump decides to take on corporations instead of hiring their executives and lobbyists, he will fail to deliver the change he promised and the relief that Americans making hard choices between filling prescriptions and putting food on the table need,” added Steven Knievel, advocate in Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program and author of the analysis.

The White House indicated that the president’s speech likely will not include new pricing plans, but rather will rehash ideas already announced in its February budget proposal. The request also will solicit information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, now run by former Eli Lilly USA executive Alex Azar, on possible policy approaches that might help consumers. Public Citizen analyzes the budget proposals here.

“Instead of blaming public agencies and other countries that have better managed to control costs, President Trump should leverage the government’s negotiating power, put an end to annual medicine price spikes and curb the monopoly abuses of prescription corporations,” Maybarduk said.

Public Citizen experts are available to comment.