During a press conference on Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump said that the amount pharmaceutical companies charge the government for medicines amounts to them “getting away with murder,” and vowed to change that.
Trump’s campaign platform included allowing the Medicare healthcare program to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies, which the law currently prohibits. He has also discussed making it easier to import drugs at cheaper prices.
“We are going to start bidding. We are going to save billions of dollars over time,” Trump said.
Medicare, which covers more than 55 million elderly or disabled Americans, spent $325 billion on medicines in 2015.
Industry trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA President Stephen Ubl said “Medicines are purchased in a competitive marketplace where large, sophisticated purchasers aggressively negotiate lower prices.”
He said the industry is “committed to working with President-elect Trump and Congress to improve American competitiveness and protect American jobs.”
Trump said he plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and replace it at about the same time. The news helped shares of hospitals, which are nervous about losing government payments for medical services. It hurt some health insurers, like Anthem Inc. (ANTM.N), which sell plans on the government-run health insurance exchanges.
Medical costs are a huge problem in the U.S., and it’s about time we had a president that stepped up and proposed a plan to tackle them — at least in regard to pharmaceuticals.
Trump’s proposed actions fall right in line with his promise on the campaign trail to put America first and also to make America great again.
In just a few short days we’ll finally get to see if Trump holds true to the big promises he made on the campaign trail and continues to make.
So far, he has continued to stand up to the mainstream media and hasn’t appeared to be swayed or bullied into buckling under the pressure from the left and establishment Republicans.
The real test, however, is fast approaching and if he continues to stand strong, there should be a great deal to look forward to this year and beyond.