President Donald Trump had a sit down with executives from all the major Pharmaceutical companies. Pharma companies have owned every Presidential administration for decades, but have recently entered unknown and fragile territory with the newly elected Trump. Aside from Trump’s position that vaccines need to be examined further for safety, he has plenty of other long-standing issues with Pharma
The attendee list included the following: Merck’s (MRK, +0.17%) Ken Frazier; Novartis’ (NVS, +1.11%) Joe Jimenez; Eli Lilly’s (LLY, -0.21%) David Ricks; Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ, +0.06%) Alex Gorsky; Amgen’s (AMGN, +4.98%) Robert Bradway; Celgene’s (CELG, +0.09%) Mark Alles; and Stephen Ubl, head of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) lobbying powerhouse.
Trump called their drug prices “astronomical” and focused on the issue of them lowering prices.
“We have to get prices down for a lot of reasons,” he said. “We have no choice, for Medicare and Medicaid.”
He also included a push for Pharma to move production away from places such as China and India and back into the United States.
As it stands, Pharmaceutical companies can price their drugs as they wish and produce those drugs anywhere they see fit. Trump also attacked the FDA for what he deems a much to sluggish approval system that often sees places such as Europe using helpful, function drugs, many years before U.S. patients receive them. Scientists are pushing back on Trump’s rhetoric against the FDA, claiming speeding up the drug approval process is harmful. One of Trump’s recent Executive Orders implemented a hiring freeze across Government agencies which could effect the FDA.
But then there is that thing we know: The FDA is a scammy system. Let’s be honest, they’ve never had our best interest at hand. They’ve allowed Big Food and Big Pharma to both lobby them into submission. It is difficult to see how anything they say or do can be trusted.
Of course, Elizabeth Warren somehow sees Trump’s badgering of the FDA as a bad thing. Because of course she does.
“A hiring freeze at the FDA would conflict with and do significant damage to these bipartisan efforts to fill vacant positions and expand the scientific and technical workforce needed for a robust review of drugs and medical devices,” wrote Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. “Patients and their families can’t freeze the progress of a disease while the FDA waits to fill critical positions.”
Aside from Warren, Trump is likely to have huge support when it comes to the drug approval process.
Trump has a big job ahead of him, no doubt.