Another PR Stunt that Will Do Little to Bring Down Costs for Americans
Remember: Health Repeal Bills and GOP’s ACA Lawsuit would Repeal Prescription Drug Coverage for Millions of Americans; Junk Plans Pushed by Trump Don’t Require Any Prescription Drug Coverage
Washington, D.C. – Ahead of President Trump’s latest effort to hide the truth of the Republican war on health care, Leslie Dach, chair of Protect Our Care, released the following statement:
“Donald Trump’s speech fails the one in four Americans struggling to afford the prescription drugs they need. Today’s speech flouts Trump’s campaign promise to let Medicare negotiate drug pricing for drugs sold in pharmacies, and it does nothing to change the fact that Trump and Republicans called for, voted to, and are now suing to repeal the requirements in current law that prescription drugs are covered in insurance plans.
“Between their efforts to repeal prescription drug coverage in Congress and the courts and their work to push junk plans that don’t cover prescription drugs, Trump’s posturing on drug prices is as outrageous as Trump’s professed care and concern for people with pre-existing conditions. Making this announcement 13 days before an election where health care is the number one issue to voters just goes to show the desperation of a president who has led a GOP war on health care and who promised prescription drug price cuts, while drug costs go up for Americans at the same time drug company profits skyrocket.”
- After Trump Promised Prescription Drug Price Cuts, Costs Went Way Up. In May, President Trump promised that prescription drug price cuts would be coming in “two weeks.” Months later, the Financial Times reported that several drugmakers raised their prices significantly, including double-digit increases in many cases, and an analysis by the Associated Press found “there were 395 price increases and 24 decreases” in the wake of the announcement and “the two dozen cuts were up from the 15 decreases in those same two months last year.”
- Drug Prices Continue To Soar Under Trump. From January 1 to July 31 of this year, the Associated Press found there were 96 price hikes for every price cut this year. A recent report by Senate Democrats finds that the prices of the 20 most-prescribed drugs under Medicare Part D have increased substantially over the past five years, rising 10 times faster than inflation. Another report from the Pharmacy Benefits Consultants finds that over the past 14 months, 20 prescription drugs saw list-price increases of more than 200 percent.
- Trump’s Previous Announcement Was Described As A “Big Win” For Big Pharma. In May, President Trump gave a speech billed as a major policy initiative to lower prescription drug costs. The phony speech was described as everything from a “big win” for pharmaceutical companies to him “[backing] out of his own plan to make drugs cheaper.” Said one drug lobbyist: “A lot of this [stuff] is meaningless to satisfy Trump.”
- Drug Companies Using Windfall From GOP Tax Scam To Pad Investors’ Pockets. In February, Axios reported that America’s largest pharmaceutical companies were using their windfall from the GOP tax scam to drive up their own stock prices to the tune of $50 billion, “a sum that towers over investments in employees or drug research and development.”
- Trump Installed Big Pharma Executives In Key Administration Posts. President Trump installed a former Eli Lily executive, Alex Azar, as his secretary of Health and Human Services and his appointment of Scott Gottlieb at FDA was described as “music to pharma’s ears.” Other pharma lobbyists writing Trump’s health policy include senior adviser at FDA, Keagan Lenihan, who joined the administration after lobbying for the drug distribution giant McKesson, former Gilead lobbyist, Joe Grogan, who reviews health care regulations at the Office of Management and Budget, and Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy Lance Leggitt, who has lobbied for a variety of drug-industry clients.