Another promise delivered: President Trump signs four executive orders to lower the prices on prescription drugs.

July 25, 2020

In was less than three years ago that President Trump declared prescription drug prices in America to be out of control and berated the big pharma industry for their shady practices.

“The drug companies, frankly, are getting away with murder,” Trump said in his October 17, 2017 Cabinet meeting with the press, “and we want to bring our prices down to what other countries are paying.”

Trump vowed to work on reducing drug prices for Americans. “Our people are paying so much more for – and I don’t mean they’re paying 2% more – I mean they’re paying double, triple, quadruple,” he said. “It’s very unfair to the United States as usual.”

Two years later, the Trump administration took historic steps to lower prescription drug prices by issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would allow certain prescription drugs to be imported from Canada.

The Administration also drafted a new guidance for the pharmaceutical companies that describes procedures they have to follow for facilitating the import of prescription drugs.

At yesterday’s press conference, Trump delivered on his promise and signed four executive orders that are designed to lower prescriptions drug prices in the U.S.   

The first order is what was drafted last year – the importation of cheaper drugs from countries like Canada.

The second order will allow discounts from pharmaceutical companies to go directly to patients, bypassing the middleman.

The third order seeks to lower the costs of insulin, while the forth order would require Medicare to purchase drugs at the same price that other countries pay, assuming negotiations with drug companies fail.

Trump’s announcement was not well received by the pharmaceutical industry, who accused Trump of hypocrisy for attacking socialism, yet pushing for a “socialized health care” system.

“In his 2020 State of the Union Address, President Trump declared that ‘we will never let socialism destroy American health care,’” Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PHRMA) said in a statement.

“Yet, in the middle of a global pandemic, when nearly 145,000 Americans have lost their lives and millions of others have suffered untold economic hardships, this administration has decided to pursue a radical and dangerous policy to set prices based on rates paid in countries that he has labeled as socialist, which will harm patients today and into the future.”

During Friday’s press conference, Trump said that Congress has been working on reducing drug prices for decades, while the previous administration “did absolutely nothing, as drug lobbyists, special interests in foreign countries fairly ripped off our citizens.” Trump added that under Obama drug prices “rose a staggering 55 percent.”

“Thanks to my administration’s aggressive actions since taking office, we have successfully lowered drug prices for the first time in 51 years,” the president revealed, “but this reduction is still not close to what I want.”

Trump blamed Congress for taking far too long to take action at reducing drug prices, and therefore was “unwilling to wait any longer.”

The new executive orders “will lead to massive reduction in drug costs” Trump assured.

As he did back in 2017, Trump again took shots at drug companies for selling “the identical drug, made in the same plant, in the same factory – the same exact drug – the same everything,” for much percent cheaper to other countries.

Americans pay on average over three times more for medicine than Canadians, according to Trump. which he blamed the Obama administration for. “They never got it done… they didn’t get a lot of things done,” Trump said.

“But under my administration, we’re standing up to the lobbyists and special interests in fighting back against a rigged system,” Trump said, before affirming that he is “un-rigging the system that is many decades old.”