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Speaking at a White House meeting with senior pharmaceutical executives, US President Donald Trump told drug companies to lower their “astronomical” prices. He pledged to curb regulations and lower tax rates to allow companies to do so, but also instructed them to bring manufacturing jobs back to America.
“US drug companies have produced extraordinary results for our country but the pricing has been astronomical.”
Big Pharma has been under the media spotlight recently for the high costs of new medicines as well as price hikes for some generic drugs. Trump said, “US drug companies have produced extraordinary results for our country but the pricing has been astronomical.” The new administration blames these high prices on excessive regulation and has therefore propsed “cutting regulations on a level that nobody has ever seen before” and “lowering taxes – big league,” thereby allowing drugs to go to market more quickly and without so much cost.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
In the aftermath of the meeting, pharmaceutical shares rose on this promise to speed up the drug approval process and industry insiders also responded positively; Stephen J. Ubl, chief executive of PhRMA saying that “We believe if these policies are enacted, it will translate to up to 350,000 new jobs over the next 10 years as a result of growth in the biopharmaceutical industry.”
“You have to get your companies back here. We have to make products.”
This growth in US jobs is Trump’s goal in a number of industries and he entreated the pharmaceutical industry to bring manufacturing to the US; saying “you have to get your companies back here. We have to make products.” Much like the stance taken on taxing foreign-made automobiles, Trump proposed a new trade policy that will “prioritize that foreign countries pay their fair share for US manufactured drugs.”
Trump has also pledged to overturn the 2003 law which prevents the US government bargaining with pharma companies over drug purchase for Medicare and Medicaid patients; saying “Pharma has a lot of lobbies, a lot of lobbyists, and a lot of power. And there’s very little bidding on drugs … We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world, and yet we don’t bid properly.”
Writer: Patrick Burton