Trump’s Drug Plan Won’t Lower Drug Prices

Trump’s drug plan unveiled on Friday sent pharmaceutical stocks soaring, and that’s all you really need to know. Trump’s plan breaks his promises, goes easy on the pharmaceutical industry, and does little to actually lower the price of prescription drugs.


Trump’s drug plan does little to lower the price of prescription drugs.


Axios: “There are few new steps in here to try to lower the sticker price of prescription drugs.”


Associated Press: “But most of the measures could take months or years to implement, and none would stop drugmakers from setting sky-high initial prices. Mr. Trump said his administration will begin work immediately, although there is no timeline for implementing his proposals.”


Trump previously said the only reason the government didn’t negotiate Medicare drug prices was because all of the politicians were in the pockets of the drug companies.


Trump: “And these guys that run for office, that are on my left and right and plenty of others, they’re all taken care of by the drug companies. And they’re never going to put out competitive bidding. So I said to myself wow, let me do some numbers. If we competitively bid, drugs in the United States, we can save as much as $300 billion a year.”


Trump: “The drug companies probably have the second or third most powerful lobby in this country. They get the politicians, and every single one of them is getting money from them.”


Trump: “The drug companies have a tremendously powerful lobby. We don’t negotiate properly. We would save so much money with proper negotiation.”


Trump’s personal lawyer received $1.2 million from a drug maker, and Big Pharma's lobbying spending surged under Trump.


CBS News: “Novartis last year paid a firm controlled by Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal lawyer, $100,000 a month for what the Swiss drug maker said was advice on ‘health care policy matters’… But it continued paying the firm to comply with terms of the contract until it expired in February of this year, according to Novartis. That would mean Essential Consultants ultimately received payments of $1.2 million.”


Axios: “Groups representing drug companies heavily increased their federal lobbying in President Trump's first year, according to a review of lobbying records… The pharmaceutical industry went on red alert after Trump said drug companies were 'getting away with murder' and had 'a lot of power.' It's worked: In the year since, Trump and Congress have not changed drug pricing laws.”


Trump’s plan breaks his promises and, according to himself, shows he’s sold out to the drug companies.


Vox: “After meeting with pharma lobbyists, Trump drops promise to negotiate drug prices.”


Washington Post's The Fix: “President Trump will break another promise Friday afternoon when he unveils his plan for lowering the cost of prescription drugs, backing off his campaign trial pledge to use the government's power to negotiate them for Medicare. And that means he's selling out to the drug companies, according to none other than Trump himself.”


Trump’s plan goes easy on the companies he accused of “getting away with murder.”


Axios: “Pharmaceutical companies' stocks soared Friday when President Trump released his plan to curb prescription drug costs — and that's a pretty accurate assessment of how big a threat this proposal is.”


Associated Press: “President Donald Trump’s long-promised plan to bring down drug prices, unveiled Friday, would mostly spare the pharmaceutical industry he previously accused of ‘getting away with murder.’”


New York Times: “President Trump has the power to sink pharmaceutical stocks with a single jab about high drug prices. But in a much-anticipated speech on the topic on Friday, Mr. Trump largely avoided the issues the industry fears the most, such as allowing Medicare to directly negotiate drug prices, or allowing Americans to import drugs. Investors noticed: Stocks of major drug companies rose after his speech, as did those of pharmacy benefit managers, or the ‘middlemen’ that Mr. Trump said were getting ‘very, very rich.’”