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Trump initiates steps to lower cost of prescription drugs

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

US Donald today initiated a series of steps to lower the cost of prescription drugs in the county.

Without naming anyone, also slammed countries that are asking US companies to lower the price of American drugs.

"You can look at some of the countries, their medicine is a tiny fraction what the medicine costs in the USA. It's unfair and it's ridiculous and it's not going to happen any longer. It's time to end the global freeloading once and for all," said amidst applause from the audience in the Rose Garden of the

Trump has directed US Trade to make fixing this injustice a top priority with every trading partner.

"We have great power over the trading partners. You're seeing that already. will not be cheated any longer, and especially will not be cheated by foreign countries. The American people deserve a that takes care of them, not one that taxes and takes advantage of our patients and our consumers and our citizens. These reforms are just the beginning," Trump said.

In the coming weeks, Trump said that his administration would work with the to pass legislation that will save Americans even more money at the pharmacy.

"For that, we need the help of and we think it will be forthcoming," he said.

Trump said that he has instructed his Secretary to begin moving forward on reforms that will bring soaring drug prices back down to Earth.

"Our plan takes steps to derail the gravy train for special interests by ending Obamacare's twisted incentives that actually encourage higher drug prices," Trump said.

The US is not going to reward companies that constantly raise prices, which, in the past, has been the case, he said.

"Our plan will end the dishonest double dealing that allows the middleman to pocket rebates and discounts that should be passed on to consumers and patients. Our plan bans the gag rule, which punishes pharmacists for telling patients how to save money," the said.

"We're going to take on one of the biggest obstacles to affordable medicine: the of special interests. Not too many are sitting here today, but they used to be here all the time. Trump alleged that the drug lobby is making an absolute fortune at the expense of American consumers.

"No industry spends more money on lobbying than the pharmaceutical products industry. Last year, these companies spent nearly USD 280 million on lobbyists. That's more than tobacco, and defence contractors combined," he said.

companies and other providers spent another USD 200 million to protect the status quo and to keep prices artificially high. And they've been very successful, doing it for many, many years, he said.

Everyone involved in the broken - the drug makers, companies, distributors, pharmacy benefit managers and many others contribute to the problem, Trump said.

"The government has also been part of the problem because previous leaders turned a blind eye to this incredible abuse. But, under this administration, we are putting American patients first," Trump added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, May 12 2018. 00:55 IST