Despite Calling Drug Prices ‘Astronomical,’ Trump Takes Mostly Conciliatory Tone In Pharma Meeting
The president met with the heads of some of the country's biggest drugmakers on Tuesday. He said that they need to lower drug costs, but that he also plans to roll back regulations and help streamline the approval process to make things easier for the industry.
The Washington Post:
Trump Calls For Lower Drug Prices, Fewer Regulations In Meeting With Pharmaceutical Executives
President Trump met with leaders of some of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies Tuesday and emphasized the need to lower “astronomical” drug prices, decrease regulations and bring more drug manufacturing into the United States. Trump offered no specific policies, but mentioned increasing competition and “bidding wars” as a way to bring down prices. In the past, he has lashed out at the pharmaceutical industry for “getting away with murder” and threatened to use the government’s bargaining power to force down drug prices for programs like Medicare. (Johnson, 1/31)
In other administration news —
The Associated Press:
Trump Taps Conservative Judge Neil Gorsuch For Supreme Court
President Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch, a fast-rising conservative judge with a writer's flair, to the Supreme Court Tuesday night, setting up a fierce fight with Democrats over a jurist who could shape America's legal landscape for decades to come. (Pace and Sherman, 1/31)
The Washington Post:
Trump Picks Colo. Appeals Court Judge Neil Gorsuch For Supreme Court
Gorsuch has not ruled on abortion. But activists on both sides of the issue believe they know where he stands. They point to language in his book “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,” in which he opines that “all human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.” Additionally, his rulings on behalf of those who challenged the Obamacare mandate that employee insurance coverage provide all approved contraceptives seemed instructive. He noted the provision would require the objecting businesses to “underwrite payments for drugs or devices that can have the effect of destroying a fertilized human egg.” (Barnes, 1/31)
Has The Drug Industry Been Cowed Into Silence By The Tweeter-In-Chief?
Titans of the automotive, banking, and technology industries have spoken out in recent days against President Donald Trump’s move to block arrivals from seven Muslim-majority nations. But the pharmaceutical sector, which relies disproportionately on immigrant labor, has been almost universally silent — perhaps in a bid to avoid rousing Trump’s ire before a crucial meeting Tuesday morning at the White House. STAT reached out to the 15 biggest drug companies about the immigration ban; only Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and Novartis responded with statements — and they simply expressed support for affected employees, without taking a stance on Trump’s action. (Garde, 1/31)