Cummings Issues Statement on President Trump’s Latest Drug Pricing Proposal
Washington, DC (Oct. 25, 2018)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement in response to a proposal by President Donald Trump on Medicare drug pricing:
“Although some of the steps proposed today are encouraging, it’s hard to know whether the Administration will actually implement this proposal in a way that would lower drug prices for seniors. One year ago today, I introduced a bill to do what President Trump said he wanted during the campaign—allow the government to negotiate for lower prices through Medicare Part D for drugs that millions of seniors need every day, like asthma and cholesterol medications—and I met with the President in the Oval Office to seek his support. Instead, President Trump and congressional Republicans have spent the last two years sabotaging our health care system and targeting protections for people with pre-existing conditions. I stand ready to work with anyone who is truly committed to lowering drug prices for the American people.”
As a candidate in January 2016, President Trump said the government could save hundreds of billions of dollars every year if the government negotiated directly with drug manufacturers on behalf of Medicare Part D. He said: “We don’t do it. Why? Because of the drug companies.” In January 2017, he stated that the pharmaceutical industry is “getting away with murder.” He also said that “Pharma has a lot of lobbies and a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power, and there’s very little bidding on drugs.”
In May, Cummings released a staff report entitled, Skyrocketing Drug Prices: Year One of the Trump Administration, documenting huge price increases during Donald Trump’s first year as President. The report found that between December 31, 2016, to March 1, 2018, prices increased for (1) the best-selling drugs in America, (2) drugs that cost most for Medicare, and (3) the top-selling drugs for the biggest U.S. drug companies.
A recent investigation by the Associated Press found that, under the Trump Administration, it’s been “business as usual for drugmakers, with far more price hikes than cuts.” They also found that “over the first seven months of the year, there were 96 price hikes for every price cut.”