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World
02 Feb 2017

Trump meets drugmakers on behalf of medicare

President Trump recently met pharma industry leaders at the White House.

Trump lamented that pharmaceutical companies were charging "astronomical prices" for drugs manufactured by them and was keen to negotiate better bargains for government health programs.

He added that "Competition is key to lowering drug prices" and committed there would be FDA reforms to get drugs for newer treatments quickly into the market.

In context

President Trump meets with Pharma Industry biggies

Overview

Donald Trump on US pharma industry

During the presidential campaign, Trump promised that if elected he would negotiate bulk discounts with pharma industry for government health programs.

Although US doesn't have a nationalized health system, for seniors and disabled it has Medicare and Medicaid, who are bulk purchasers of drugs.

Two weeks ago, President Trump lashed out at pharmaceutical companies and said they were "getting away with murder" on prices.

Trump's sharp comments on pharma lobby

At a conference on January 12, Trump said "Pharma has lot of lobbies, a lot of lobbyists and lot of power. And there's very little bidding on drugs. We're the largest buyer of drugs in the world, and yet we don't bid properly."

Pharma industry rattled; reaches out to administration

What Transpired

Pharma industry rattled; reaches out to administration

President Trump's antagonistic and critical comments on the pharma sector at a recent news conference led to drug and biotechnology stocks tumbling.

Pharma industry leaders subsequently increased their lobbying efforts with the Congress in the hope of ramping up support for the industry.

Post the conference, pharma CEOs also reached out to meet with people within President Trump's administration.

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02 Feb 2017

Trump meets drugmakers on behalf of medicare

President Trump recently met pharma industry leaders at the White House.

Trump lamented that pharmaceutical companies were charging "astronomical prices" for drugs manufactured by them and was keen to negotiate better bargains for government health programs.

He added that "Competition is key to lowering drug prices" and committed there would be FDA reforms to get drugs for newer treatments quickly into the market.

FDA reform on anvil

Likely changes

FDA reform on anvil

President Trump has committed to slashing and streamlining of regulations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

He intends to push FDA reforms in order to boost competition internationally and to ensure newer treatments hit the market in a shorter time frame.

President Trump also indicated that he will soon appoint a new person at FDA's helm to implement proposed changes.

Reactions

Defusing tensions between pharma and Trump administration

After meeting with Trump, top executives of Celgene, Lilly, Merck and Amgen, said they found Trump's focus on tax reform, innovation and deregulation, encouraging.

Discussions also touched upon negotiating stronger trade agreements and removing "outdated regulations that drive up costs and slow innovation."

Dave Ricks, CEO of Lilly said "Tax, deregulation - those are things that could really help us expand operations."

Do Republicans support President Trump?

Republicans have traditionally opposed harsh drug policies. Chairman of the largest bloc of House conservatives expressed reservations and said he had "concerns" over Trump's proposal to bargain over Medicare prices with pharmaceutical companies.

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