UPDATED 7:40 PM PT — Friday, July 24, 2020
The White House is taking a stand against lobbyists and foreign special interests regarding the price of pharmaceuticals. On Friday, President Trump signed four executive orders to lower prescription drug prices for American patients.
“We’ve been waiting for Congress to take action for many decades to reduce drug prices for more than just a small handful of people,” he said. “But even the small handful of people never got price reductions, and I’m unwilling to wait any longer.”
The orders will attempt to tackle a slew of issues, such as making lifesaving medicines more affordable for low-income Americans. For example, federally qualified health centers would give them large discounts for insulin and EpiPens.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 25, 2020
Another order focuses on importing cheaper drugs from foreign countries, which will discourage consumers from hopping over the border to buy their medicines.
“We pay for all of the research and all of the development. Foreign countries pay absolutely nothing and our consumer gets charged, has been going on for decades. The American people pay an average of over three times more for medicine than the Canadians. Many people go to Canada, I see it all the time.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
The president’s actions sought to streamline discounts and benefits from drug manufacturers to patients by cutting out middlemen, who make secret deals between the two.
He also wants to level the global playing field. He called on countries to sell prescription drugs to the U.S. at the same price as any other country.
“We pay 80% more than nations like Germany, Canada and others for some of the most expensive medicines, identical in all respects,” the president explained. “This means that Americans are funding the enormous cost of drug research and development for the entire planet.”
The fourth Executive Order President Trump signed “will end global freeloading on the backs of American patients and American seniors.” pic.twitter.com/9k8Wnv6Wsu
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 24, 2020
In the meantime, President Trump will give pharmaceutical executives who oppose the orders a chance to rebut and propose alternative policies. Executives will be able to hash out ideas with the administration through August 25th.
Talks are set to begin at the White House next week.