US President Donald Trump calls on drug companies to ‘get prices down’

January 31, 2017 10:30 pm

President speaks at a meeting in the White House on January 31, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

US President Donald Trump has called on the executives of American pharmaceutical companies to manufacture more drugs and reduce prices, also vowing to expedite approval of new medicines and ease regulations.
In a meeting with the US drug company executives at the White House on Tuesday, Trump said the government was paying “astronomical” prices for medicines in its healthcare-related programs for the poor, the disabled and the elderly.
“You folks have done a tremendous job but we have to get prices down,” the US president said. “US drug companies have produced extraordinary results for our country, but the pricing has been astronomical for our country.”
He also promised to make the US Food and Drug Administration’s approval of new drugs “much faster,” adding that, “We’re going to be cutting regulation at a level nobody’s ever seen before.”
During the Tuesday meeting, the new US president also censured what he called “price-fixing” in the federal health insurance program, known as Medicare.
“I’ll oppose anything that makes it harder for smaller, younger companies to take the risk of bringing their product to a vibrantly competitive market,” Trump said. “That includes price-fixing by the biggest dog in the market, Medicare, which is what’s happening. But we can increase competition and bidding wars, big time.”
At a press conference last month, Trump took a jab at drug companies, saying that they are “getting away with murder.”
“Pharma has a lot of lobbies, a lot of lobbyists, a lot of power. And there’s very little bidding on drugs,” he said. “We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world, and yet we don’t bid properly and we’re going to start bidding and save billions of dollars over a period of time.”
During his presidential campaign, Trump said that if elected, he would seek to repeal then-President Barack Obama’s legacy-defining healthcare law, Obamacare, which provides health coverage to millions of low-income Americans.
The move, which came on the first day of the new Congress on January 3, underscored that dismantling Obamacare will be the Republican Party’s top legislative priority under Trump.
Republicans criticize Obamacare as an excessive government intrusion into the healthcare market and contend that it is harming economic growth by burdening businesses. They say they have a plan to replace it but have offered few details.
Congress has already taken some actions towards repealing the law through the complex budget reconciliation process.
Healthcare experts have said that about 30 million people could lose health insurance if Obamacare is repealed.
Skip to toolbar
shared on