ICYMI: Washington Post Wonkblog: In May, Trump predicted the pharmaceutical industry would cut price
June 25, 2018
In May, Trump promised that drug companies would cut prices in two weeks. It hasn’t happened yet, and the White House has no explanation. In fact, some drug prices have even increased.
Washington Post Wonkblog: In May, Trump predicted the pharmaceutical industry would cut prices in two weeks. It hasn’t happened yet.
By Carolyn Y. Johnson
President Trump said at the end of May that drug companies were about to make “voluntary, massive drops in prices” in two weeks.
Two weeks later, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar backed down from that timeline, testifying to Congress that drug companies “want to execute substantial material reductions in their drug prices” but were encountering hurdles.
Nearly four weeks out, the White House will not explain why nothing has happened yet but continues to hint that news could be imminent. “We’re not going to get ahead of any forthcoming announcements,” deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley said in an email last week.
Drug companies — and insurers, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) that negotiate drug prices, drug distributors, patients and doctors— are working with the administration, a spokeswoman for the department of Health and Human Services said, “to respond to President Trump's call to action and help patients pay less for their prescription drugs.” But after more than a year of promises to lower drug prices, the silence following Trump's recent remarks suggest that the bully pulpit may not offer the swiftest solution to the problem of high drug prices. And it is increasingly clear that policy solutions — which will spark bitter fights between industries — will take longer than Trump has suggested.