October 26, 2018 | Access to Medicines


Statement from Health GAP in response to remarks by President Trump on Reducing the Prices of Medicines in the U.S.

Brittany Herrick (Health GAP): 1 760-964-8704| brittany@healthgap.org

Brook Baker, Senior Policy Analyst for Health Global Access Project (Health GAP), issued the following statement in response to yesterday’s remarks by President Trump on the administration’s plans to reduce the price of medicines in the U.S.:

“President Trump has jumped at every opportunity to falsely blame foreign countries’ pricing decisions for Big Pharma’s grossly excessive prices in the U.S. Following this false premise, Trump casts himself as the savior of US patients, whom he falsely claims pay for ‘virtually all’ global biopharmaceutical research and development, yet has put forward a proposal to cut drug prices that is far more bark than bite.

“But while the $17.2 billion in savings over 5 years promised by Trump’s plan sounds like a lot, the savings each year would amount to less than 1% of drug manufacturers’ 2015 earnings from U.S. sales.  Given average list-price increases of nearly 10% per year, Trump’s ‘savings’ are overwhelmed by predictable drug-price inflation, and do not take into account any compensatory action Big Pharma would most surely take.”

The Trump administration claims that by 2025 its plan could result in an average 30% reduction in the price of a very select number of medicines. The proposal announced by President Trump yesterday lays out three experiments to reduce Medicare drug prices, that are limited in scope and potential impact:

  1. limiting doctors’ percentage mark-ups on certain prescriptions to encourage better prescribing practices (so that clinicians’ earnings are not tied to the higher price of a prescribed medicine);
  2. letting private sector vendors negotiate with pharmaceutical corporations on Medicare drug prices for a limited number of medicines and in limited geographic regions; and
  3. setting prices for medicines used by doctors in their offices and hospitals in only 50% of the country by resetting those prices gradually over time to amounts paid for those same medicines by procurers in sixteen reference countries.

Health GAP’s full take on the new proposal can be found here.