Trump says he’ll sign order cutting drug prices ‘very soon’

President Donald Trump said he plans to sign a “very inclusive” health-care plan “very soon” — perhaps as soon as Sunday — that will result in Americans paying significantly less for pharmaceutical drugs. He lashed out against drug companies for the high prices charged in the U.S. for prescription drugs.

“I want what’s right for the people,” he said at a press briefing in Florida on Friday. “We’re going to bring our drug prices down to levels that nobody ever thought possible.”While he provided few details Friday, on July 24, Trump announced plans for executive orders to lower prescription drug prices under Medicare by linking them to rates paid in other countries and allowing Americans to buy medication imported from Canada. He’s been seeking to repair his standing on health-care issues, particularly with senior voters. Polls have shown sentiment is souring over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to eliminate the Affordable Care Act without having a ready replacement.

Trump Ties Medicare Drug Cost to Rates Paid by Other Nations

On Friday, Trump described what he called a “favored nations” plan under which he said his administration would take the country that has the lowest drug prices as the yardstick for what Americans should be charged.

“We take the lowest nation in the world,” he said, and that’s what the U.S. should pay.

The pharmaceutical industry was sharply critical of the orders. Pfizer Inc. Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said he was “disappointed” by them, especially given the industry’s focus on finding treatments and vaccines for the novel coronavirus.

“They pose enormous distraction at a time when the industry needs to be completely focused on developing a potential Covid-19 vaccine or treatment,” Bourla said on a July 28 earning call with investors. “The international price index is radical. Not only is it imposing socialized medicine to America, it also will create uncertainty and could lead to job losses.”

Trump agreed that his plan had upset the industry, saying at the Florida briefing, “the pharmaceutical companies aren’t exactly in love with Donald Trump and they’ll advertise.”

The order tying prescription-drug prices to international benchmarks won’t go into effect until Aug. 24 to give drugmakers time to come up with alternative measures for lowering costs, Trump said in the July 24 announcement.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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