[Ip-health] On Trump health speech today & White House drug pricing report

Peter Maybarduk pmaybarduk at citizen.org
Thu Oct 3 07:47:39 PDT 2019

Trump’s Claim of Lower Drug Prices Is Misleading 

For Immediate Release: Oct. 3, 2019 

Contact: Mike Stankiewicz, mstankiewicz at citizen.org, (202) 588-7779

Note: President Donald Trump is scheduled to make a major health policy speech in Florida this afternoon and sign an executive order titled “Protecting Medicare from Socialist Destruction.” A White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) report released Wednesday criticized media coverage of prescription costs and used Consumer Price Index data to claim that prices are falling. 

Statement of Peter Maybarduk, director, Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program:

Trump is moving the goal posts. 

The White House has been unable to enact a single meaningful reform to bring down drug prices. That happens when you hire pharma execs to regulate pharma execs. Now the president is turning to the CEA to invent the drug pricing victory he did not achieve. 

The report measures pricing trends by high-volume drugs dispensed at pharmacies rather than by the high-priced drugs that are causing rationing, bankruptcy and suffering. 

The White House put work into these alternative facts. Instead, it should work to line up Republican votes for the modest but meaningful legislation developed by U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). 

The president should remember a more ambitious promise he made and broke, and support legislation for direct government price negotiations with drugmakers. People are still waiting for that real relief. 

The White House CEA report is available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Measuring-Prescription-Drug-Prices-A-Primer-on-the-CPI-Prescription-Drug-Index.pdf

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