(BOSTON, MA) — Statement of Rob Restuccia, executive director of Community Catalyst, in response to President Donald Trump’s speech about the administration’s long-awaited plan to address skyrocketing drug prices in the United States.
“The proposals President Trump outlined today to reduce prescription drug prices fail to address the fundamental causes of unconscionably high drug prices in the United States. The number one problem we face is the excessive monopoly power held by pharmaceutical companies. The president leaves that power unchallenged and instead clouds the issue by aiming at the wrong targets. Our problem is not that other countries bargain aggressively over drug prices, it is that the U.S. does not bargain at all. Further, the president’s plan breaks one of his much-touted campaign promises by failing to empower Medicare to negotiate drug prices, which should be part of any meaningful effort to bring down skyrocketing drug prices.
“Given the control that the federal government has over both the granting of patents and the flow of research dollars, there is no excuse for allowing the drug corporations to launch new drugs at extortionately high price points or to increase the price of older drugs year after year far in excess of any increase in the cost of production.
“A real agenda for controlling drug prices must include aggressive price negotiation and end the manipulative practices of the drug industry that discourage and delay competition. That agenda should also prevent misleading marketing to consumers and providers and include measures to provide unbiased information to physicians to help them prescribe safely and cost-effectively.
“It’s past time to rein in the excesses of the big drug corporations, but what we have gotten from this president is mostly empty rhetoric.”
About Community Catalyst
Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers, and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, courtrooms, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @healthpolicyhub.