Health

Trump Vows To Reduce Drug Prices

| by Robert Fowler

President-elect Donald Trump has signaled that he is intent on helping bring down drug costs. His remarks in a Time Magazine interview may come as a surprise to anyone banking that he would take a hands-off approach to the drug companies.

On Dec. 7, Trump responded to concerns that his administration would be favorable towards their bottom line.

"I'm going to bring down drug prices," Trump told TIME Magazine. "I don't like what has happened with drug prices."

Stocks in pharmaceutical companies soared following the presidential election, with the biotech exchange-traded fund rising by 9 percent, according to CNN Money.

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Before the presidential election, drug companies had feared that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would crack down on their pricing if she had assumed office, according to CNN.

On the campaign trail, Clinton had blasted the pharmaceutical industry, calling drug companies "bad actors making a fortune off of people's misfortune."

The former Secretary of State had proposed a plan that would have allowed for Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Her plan would have also capped the amount that consumers could be charged for prescription drugs to a maximum of $250 per month under the Affordable Care Act.

Based on their rising stock following Clinton's defeat, the pharmaceutical industry appeared to believe that it would have an ally in President-elect Trump.

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The business mogul's latest comments have had an immediate impact on the industry, with drug companies such as Pfizer and Mylan seeing a 5 percent drop in shares.

On Dec. 1, Allergan CEO Brent Saunders warned his fellow drug company executives that Trump could be just as strict on their industry as Clinton purported to be, Reuters reports.

"I worry today that the pharmaceutical industry has a very false sense of security because of the Trump administration and a Republican-controlled Congress," Saunders said during the annual Forbes Healthcare Summit in New York.

He added that Trump could use his influential Twitter pulpit to blast drug companies that gouge drug prices.

Trump did not elaborate on how he would reduce drug prices during his latest interview, but he had offered several ideas on the campaign trail. The business mogul has previously proposed allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry and to allow foreign drug companies to export their cheaper medicine into the U.S., according to Business Insider.

Sources: Business InsiderCNNCNN Money, Reuters, TIME Magazine / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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