Since his first days in office, President Donald Trump has taken a strong stand against the atrocities surrounding Big Pharma’s skyrocketing drug prices. President Trump unveiled his expansive plan in May 2018 titled “American Patients First: a Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices.”
The president also declared the industry was currently “getting away with murder” and put them on notice that things were going to change.
Naturally, Big Pharma — which has a powerful lobby with Democrats and Republicans alike — wasn’t too happy. When you consider what led up to this, it makes a lot of sense.
Last year, major pharmaceutical companies implemented another round of price hikes for various products. The President, of course, was not happy and responded with a signature tweet.
“Pfizer and others should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason,” Trump wrote. “They are merely taking advantage of the poor and others unable to defend themselves, while at the same time giving bargain-basement prices to other countries in Europe and elsewhere. We will respond!”
Coincidentally, Pfizer rolled back his proposed price hike the following day.
President Trump did hinder some potential price hikes, pressuring Big Pharma to not raise them once again. However, Big Pharma doesn’t seem to be changing the way they do business. They returned to their old ways pretty quickly when they once again implemented price hikes last January.
Major pharmaceutical companies seem to be hiding behind groups which are publicly considered a non-profit and politically unaffiliated to do their dirty work. Washington-based advocacy groups like RetireSafe are backed by Big Pharma, and are using their platform as a way to sway public opinion through the media.
The next attempt by President Trump to thwart the success of Big Pharma came when his Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar revealed a plan designed to lower drug prices, reduce opioid abuse, and roll back overly strict Obamacare regulations. It would, in effect, lower the cost of prescription drugs by ending the existing rebate system and allowing price negotiations.
RetireSafe began blasting the proposal, posting some 18,000 comments after it was released. Wednesday, over 5,000 of those comments were made public. Almost all the comments were worded similarly, and support the platform promoted by Submit For a Change. In general, groups backed by Big Pharma are doing all they can to shift the blame from themselves to others.
A more directly aimed attack on the Trump Administration’s recent efforts came from another non-profit group, also backed by Big Pharma. This group issued a wide-reaching campaign to convince people foreign drug imports were unsafe. This group has connections to major Big Pharma organizations, including Pfizer, Bayer, Eli Lilly, Manufacturers of America and Pharmaceutical Research. This so called “grass-roots” effort is simply fighting against the right of Americans to procure drugs through import. The campaign efforts have even gone so far as to utilize an expensive advertising blitz and host a high-profile event featuring a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner along with former FBI officers.
So, why is this happening? The answer is simple: Trump wants to free up the pharmaceutical market, and scares companies like Pfizer who understand that more competition will obliterate their market share.
The Senate is currently pushing to allow Americans to fill prescriptions through Canada. The reason being, the exact same drug can cost three times as much in America as it does in Canada. Therefore, people struggling to afford their medications could experience great savings when they purchase form Canada. Of course, the American drug industry opposes these efforts to open the borders with regard to prescription drugs.
Who knows how much of an impact President Trump will ultimately have on the way Big Pharma does business? However, it’s safe to say that his administration has done more to fight for reduced drug costs than any in modern times. Big Pharma is going to keep fighting back, of course, hoping to keep their monopoly-like stronghold firmly in place. Thankfully, Trump isn’t one to give up.
~ Patriotic Freedom Fighter