Speaking outside the White House on Friday, May 11, President Trump announced a major shakeup in the prescription drug industry. His aim? To lower the cost of drug prices.
“Today, my administration is launching the most sweeping action in history to lower the price of prescription drugs for the American people,” the president said during a televised press briefing, according to CNN.
He indicated that his administration has been working on this complicated plan for a long time, adding that “we will have tougher negotiations, more competition, and much lower prices at the pharmacy counter. And it will start to take effect very soon.”
Trump pointed out that his administration has already “reformed the drug discount program for safety net hospitals to save senior citizens hundreds of millions of dollars on drugs this year alone.”
“We’re also increasing competition and reducing regulatory burdens so drugs can be gotten to the market quicker and cheaper,” the president continued. “We’re very much eliminating the middleman. Middlemen became very, very rich.”
The audience applauded Trump’s announcement.
“We are getting tough on the drug makers that exploit our patent laws to choke out competition,” he said, also noting that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allowed over a thousand low-cost generic drugs to hit the shelves in 2017, Fox News reported.
How much have prescription drug prices increased over the past few years?
For example, the pharmaceutical company Mylan “increased the price of food allergy drug EpiPen by more than 500%, going from $94 for a two-dose package in 2007 to $608 this year,” according to The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing.
The campaign also noted that “prescription spending is growing faster than any other part of the health care dollar” and added that “9 out of the 10 biggest pharma companies spend 50% more on advertising than research and development.”
The American Hospital Association, which gives similar statistics, says that percentage of advertising spending runs in opposition to drug company claims that they need to charge so much for meds in order to have enough money to develop new medications.
Watch the short video below to see Test Tube News give simple explanations of why drug prices as so high: