President Trump likes to tout his record on drug prices to obscure his abysmal record on health care. But there’s a big problem: It’s all a lie. Today marks at least the fifth time this year that the Trump administration has been fact-checked on their claim that drug prices are going down. The truth is that drug prices continue to go up and Trump’s policies have done nothing to stop it. Not only that, we’re just one day away from Trump’s lawyers going to court for the oral arguments of the Texas lawsuit, which if successful would give insurance companies power to charge as much as they want and cover as little as they want, costs will go up, coverage will get worse, and millions of Americans will lose their health insurance.
July 2019: The Hill: President Trump “Wrongly Claimed Drug Prices Declined In 2018.” “President Trump on Sunday wrongly claimed drug prices declined in 2018, saying bipartisan cooperation on the issue would ‘get big results.’ ‘Last year was the first in 51 years where prescription drug prices actually went down, but things have been, and are being, put in place that will drive them down substantially,’ Trump tweeted Sunday. ‘If Dems would work with us in a bipartisan fashion, we would get big results very fast!’” [The Hill, 7/7/19]
May 2019: PolitiFact: Trump’s Claims That Drug Prices Are Going Down Are “Mostly False.” “Trump said, “Drug prices are coming down, first time in 51 years because of my administration.” There is data that could conceivably support the argument that the list prices for some prescription drugs dipped in 2018. But that data doesn’t include many high-priced specialty drugs that drive costs up or the fact that some individual drug prices have increased. Nationally, spending on drugs has continued to climb, even if that growth has slowed. There is also no evidence to support the argument that Trump himself is responsible for changes in drug pricing. This claim has an element of truth, but it ignores key facts and context that would give a very different impression. We rate this claim Mostly False.” [PolitiFact, 5/22/19]
April 2019: PolitiFact: White House Chief Of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s Claim That Trump Has Brought Down Drug Prices Is “Mostly False.” “Mulvaney said, ‘Drug prices in this country actually came down last year for the first time in 50 years. That’s because Donald Trump’s president.’ At first glance, CPI data could conceivably support the argument that the list prices for some prescription drugs dipped. But that data doesn’t include many high-priced specialty drugs that drive costs up, and the pattern it illustrates can change based on the time frame selected. The CPI data set obscures the individual drugs for which the list prices have increased — with far more going up than down. It also does not account for a drug’s true ‘net price.’ Mulvaney’s statement also does not reflect trends showing that, nationally, spending on drugs has continued to climb, even if that growth has slowed. There is also no evidence to support the argument that Trump himself is responsible for changes in drug pricing. This claim has an element of truth, but it ignores key facts and context that would give a very different impression. We rate this claim Mostly False.” [PolitiFact, 4/15/19]
February 2019: AP: Trump “Selectively Citing Statistics To Exaggerate” Drug Pricing Claims. “A look at one of President Donald Trump’s statements from his State of the Union address on Tuesday night and how it compares with the facts: TRUMP: ‘Already, as a result of my administration’s efforts, in 2018 drug prices experienced their single largest decline in 46 years.’ THE FACTS: Trump is selectively citing statistics to exaggerate what seems to be a slowdown in prices. A broader look at the data shows that drug prices are still rising, but more moderately. Some independent experts say criticism from Trump and congressional Democrats may be causing pharmaceutical companies to show restraint. The Consumer Price Index for prescription drugs shows a O.6 percent reduction in prices in December 2018 when compared with December 2017, the biggest drop in nearly 50 years. The government index tracks a set of medications including brand drugs and generics. However, that same index showed a 1.6 percent increase when comparing the full 12 months of 2018 with the entire previous year. […] Separately, an analysis of brand-name drug prices by The Associated Press shows there were 2,712 price increases in the first half of this January, as compared with 3,327 increases during the same period last year.” [Associated Press, 2/5/19]
January 2019: Stat: Trump’s Statements About Drug Prices Are “Demonstrably False.” “President Trump asserted late Friday that drug prices declined for the first time in nearly 50 years, implying in a tweet that his administration’s efforts to speed generic drugs to market were responsible for that historic feat. But in the context of America’s prescription drug market, the statement is both a non sequitur and demonstrably false. A recent analysis of brand-name drugs by the Associated Press found 96 price increases for every price cut in the first seven months of 2018. At the start of last year, drug makers hiked prices on 1,800 medicines by a median of 9.1 percent, and many continued to increase prices throughout the year.” [Stat, 1/12/19]