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'Unrigging the system,' Trump signs executive orders to lower prescription drug prices

'Some very rich people are not going to like me very much today,' Trump says

Updated: July 24, 2020 - 5:17pm

President Trump said Friday that he's "unrigging the system" with executive orders aimed at reducing the prices of prescription drugs in the U.S.

One of the executive orders would provide discounted insulin and EpiPens to low-income Americans, which Trump said would bring the cost down to "pennies a day."

The president explained that community health centers would have to pass the savings they receive on the drugs onto their patients.

Another order would allow "states, wholesalers and pharmacies" to safely import prescription drugs from Canada –a change Trump said the Obama-Biden administration wasn't able to make

"We're standing up to the lobbyists and special interests," the president said in a White House event. "I'm unrigging the system that is many decades old."

A third order seeks to prevent "middle men and women" from "making a fortune" on drugs for Medicare patients, the president said. The rule would pass on the "billions" that distributors receive on drugs from pharmaceutical companies as a way to reduce the price for patients. 

"Some very rich people are not going to like me very much today," Trump said.

Trump explained that the fourth executive order, if implemented, would target the issue of how the exact same drugs cost more in the U.S. compared to other countries such as Germany. Trump said Medicare would be required to purchase drugs at the same price other countries pay.

"We aren't even allowed to negotiate the price of drugs, can you believe it?" he asked. "We're restricted by Congress."

Trump said the world probably looks at the U.S. and says, "Where the hell did these people come from?"

Trump announced that top executives from pharmaceutical companies will meet with him next week at the White House about drug pricing issues.

"If these talks are successful, we might not need to implement the fourth executive order, which is a very tough order for them," he said. 

 

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