On Friday, Trump broke yet another promise to the voters and enriched large corporations by proposing to lower drug prices by promoting competition among pharmaceutical companies, suggesting Big Pharma would have to disclose prices in advertising. Trump also forgot he promised to have the government directly negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare and denied American consumers the ability to import low-cost medicines from abroad. Trump said that a “tangled web of special interests” had conspired to keep drug prices high at the expense of American consumers.
Shares of several major drug and biotech companies rose immediately after the speech, as did the stocks of pharmacy benefit managers who Mr. Trump said had gotten “very, very rich.” A securities analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, said the president’s speech was “very, very positive to pharma,” and he added, “We have not seen anything about that speech which should concern investors” in the pharmaceutical industry.
Mr. Trump also denounced foreign countries that he said “extort unreasonably low prices from U.S. drugmakers” so that their citizens often pay much less than American consumers for the same drugs. How drug companies making higher profits in other countries would benefit American consumers is not at all clear. The government, Trump said, will consider whether to “outlaw rebates” — the discounts and price concessions pharmacy benefit managers are hired by insurers and large employers to negotiate lower drug prices for consumers.
Since Mr. Trump likes to threaten all our trade partners, they also decided to put pressure on other countries to increase the prices of brand-name drugs for THEIR citizens, expecting Big-Hearted Big Pharma to lower prices here at home. Yeah, good luck with that.
For more: NY Times