In desperate need for a win prior to the November 2020 elections while the economy plunges, COVID-19 rages, and civil unrest reaches fever pitch, Donald Trump announced a series of executive orders meant to reduce drug prices in the United States. Like most things Trump does, the push to get the executive orders implemented have been nothing but “chaos,” according to those involved, and it turns out that Big Pharma isn’t okay with random measures to reduce their profits. Who could have guessed that might happen?
“I’m unwilling to wait any longer.”
Trump announces he’ll sign four executive orders to “massively reduce” the cost of prescription drugs, which “represent the most far-reaching reforms ever issued by a president” pic.twitter.com/U2xz595V5i
— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) July 24, 2020
Trump’s talks with drug companies, each of whom Trump wanted a representative from in order to get the executive orders rolling, have fallen apart. A Tuesday meeting had to be cancelled when drug companies refused to send those representatives.
POLITICO reports that:
‘A White House meeting with top pharmaceutical executives that President Donald Trump promised for Tuesday is off, five industry sources familiar with discussions told POLITICO. Three said the drug-pricing discussion was canceled because the major drug lobbies, reeling from Friday’s cluster of executive orders on the topic, refused to send any members.’
Pharma stocks finish lower as Trump targets drug prices with executive orders https://t.co/s9imYC0dLq
— MarketWatch (@MarketWatch) July 24, 2020
Trump’s executive orders were meant to impose the most-favored country rule, a trade agreement that “requires a country to provide any concessions, privileges, or immunities granted to one nation in a trade agreement to all other World Trade Organization member countries.” Conservatives have been opposed to the idea, as is Big Pharma at this point. The agreement would allow other countries, including more socialist countries, to set drug prices.
‘The drug lobbies PhRMA and BIO were reluctant to send representatives from their member companies — many of them multibillion-dollar manufacturers of the world’s best-selling medicines and vaccines — after conflicting reports last week about whether the White House would include the rule and little information to date about what the new rule would look like, three people familiar with the discussions said.’
Donald Trump appointed Big Pharma exec who tripled the price of insulin to run the nation’s healthcare agency. He is not serious about lowering drug prices.
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) July 24, 2020
Drug companies say that Trump’s executive orders and attempt to make this deal have been mostly just a distraction as they try to research and test new vaccines and treatments for COVID-19. Trump really wants a policy win, but it doesn’t appear that’s going to happen for him prior to Election Day.
‘A PhRMA spokesperson painted the White House talks as a distraction. “The president’s plan to import policies from socialized health care systems abroad is disrupting our work [on Covid-19 therapies] and diverting our focus away from those life-saving efforts,” the spokesperson said. “We remain willing to discuss ways to lower costs for patients at the pharmacy counter. However, we remain steadfastly opposed to policies that would allow foreign governments to set prices for medicines in the United States.”‘
Trump’s empty drug price ploy fails the straight face test. Instead of real reform, he’s issuing ineffectual edicts, seeking to hoodwink seniors & heighten his poll numbers. Sorry, Mr. President, Americans will see through this ruse. https://t.co/3ISeqgjCkU
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) July 25, 2020
Featured image screenshot via YouTube