Trump lays out plan to slash drug costs | Chemistry World

The US pharmaceutical industry has concerns about President Trump’s blueprint to address the high cost of medicines in America, unveiled in a speech in the White House’s iconic Rose Garden on 11 May. The administration’s new strategy explicitly targets ‘excessively high drug prices, foreign freeloading, and a system rigged to reward list price increases’.

The White House cited data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development that show the US had the highest per-capita pharmaceutical spending in 2015. Prescription drug spending increased 1.3% to $328.6 billion (£242.6 billion) in 2016, according to the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Lower-cost drugs cannot enter the US market because of efforts by pharmaceutical companies to game regulatory processes and the patent system so that they can maintain unfair monopolies, Trump complained.

‘We are going to take on one of the biggest obstacles to affordable medicine – the tangled web of special interest,’ he declared. ‘The drug lobby is making an absolute fortune at the expense of American consumers – no industry spends more money lobbying than the pharmaceutical health products industry.’

Last year, pharmaceutical companies spent nearly $280 million on lobbyists – which is more than tobacco, oil and defence contractors combined, according to Trump. He vowed that his administration will get tough on the drugmakers that exploit US patent laws to choke out competition. ‘Our patent system will reward innovation, but it will not be used as a shield to protect unfair monopolies,’ he asserted.

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Trump lays out plan to slash drug costs | Business | Chemistry World.