During the State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Trump lectured about the high rising costs of prescription drugs and the control Big Pharma has on the citizens of the United States. Trump says that one of his “greatest priorities” for his administration is to cut the drug prices and ask Congress to pass a “Right to Try” legislation for terminally ill patients.
“Prices will come down,” Trump stated in his State of the Union address.
“To speed access to breakthrough cures and affordable generic drugs, last year the FDA approved more new and generic drugs and medical devices than ever before in our history,” Trump said.
Although, the “Right to Try” legislation has not been approved yet from the Food and Drug Administraion.
“We also believe that patients with terminal conditions should have access to experimental treatments that could potentially save their lives,” the president said.
“People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure — I want to give them a chance right here at home. It is time for the Congress to give these wonderful Americans the ‘right to try.'”
Research from Britain’s University of Liverpool found that the world’s top selling medicines are on average 3 times as expensive in the United States than Britain. The US leaves pricing to the competition, which makes the medications cost up to the makers, instead of in other countries where governments directly or indirectly control medicinal costs.
Because of the United States allowing this, America is by far the most profitable market for pharmaceutical companies, which has led to complaints from American’s that we are directly contributing to the health systems in other climates. Drug companies can afford to be paid less in other countries for the same medications because they charge more to Americans because of the higher unregulated prices.
In 2018, Express Scripts and Caremark, The two largest companies that are responsible for administering prescription drug benefits for health insurance companies, are dropping popular medications, like Adderall, from their coverage.
The cost of Adderall with insurance can range from $100 to $400 depending on the milligram, amount, generic vs. name brand and pharmacy. Generic is gernerally less expensive, but even with cash paying patients, one months’ worth of medication can cost up to $400.
“One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs. In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States.”
“And it is very, very unfair,” he said. “That is why I have directed my administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities. Prices will come down.”
Trump’s critics raise concern about his choice of Secretary of Health and Human Sevices, Alex Azar. Mr. Azar was once a former drug company executive and pharmaceutical lobbyist for Eli Lilly and company. Many are in disbelief that a former drug company executive would actually follows through with cutting medication costs.
“There are not many issues you can get Republicans and Democrats to agree on but high drug prices is one of them. But there has been a lot of talk and not much action. This could be just a throw-away line that gets applause,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer of Independent Advisor Alliance.
Also published on Medium.