BY JADEN MOUNT
A battle is brewing on Capitol Hill between the federal government and pharmaceutical companies. President Trump’s comments both in his January State of the Union Address and a March rally in New Hampshire have struck chords with the higher-ups in Big Pharma.
In a May 11 press conference, Trump said, “We will have tougher negotiation, more competition, and much lower prices at the pharmacy counter. And it will start to take effect very soon.”
The administration’s plan involves consolidating prescription medicines from the Part B doctors program to the Part D drug program, according to Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
In response, Big Pharma has begun ramping up its lobbying campaign in an effort to sabotage the administration’s attempt. According to The New York Times article “As Trump Prepares Plan to Lower Drug Prices, Big Pharma Girds for a Fight”, the drug industry spent $171.5 million lobbying the federal government last year.
Lori Reilly, executive vice president of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, commented that the industry has “serious concerns” that the proposal would restrict “patient affordability and access.”
Despite these efforts from Big Pharma, Azar fired back in an address to the American Enterprise Institute:
“Bringing negotiation to Part B drugs is such a potent way to bring down prices that PhRMA is already protesting the idea. This is really on their list of worst nightmares,” Azar said.
As the Trump Administration begins to roll out its plan, constituents will have to wait and see what support, if any, Congress will show and if Trump’s more hopeful campaign promise can come to fruition.