The High Cost of Lowering Drug Prices the Trump Way

Without laws to enforce them, the president’s ideas to control drug prices will do just the opposite.
President Donald Trump meets with six Big Pharma executives on January 31 at the White House.
02_03_TrumpPharmaMeeting_01 Source: Yuri Gripas/Reuters

On the last day in January, President Donald Trump met with chief executives from some of the wealthiest pharmaceutical companies in the United States to discuss the future of their industry. The Oval Office meeting, which was closed to the press after opening remarks, included an issue vital to most people not inside the room: the high price of pharmaceuticals.

“We have to get prices down,” the president said in his public introduction. “We have no choice.” He suggested several means toward that end, but veterans of the decades-long battle to lower drug prices say the proposed ideas are unlikely to accomplish anything—at least not without also harming patients.

Related: Should drug prices be capped?

Trump wooed the attending CEOs—representing six drugmakers plus the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the industry’s chief lobbying organization—with promises of speeding

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