FACTS

    President Trump signed four executive orders Friday with the aim of lowering the cost of prescription drugs for the American people. Measures include lowering the price of EpiPens and insulin – a drug which “costs between $2.28 and $3.42 for drug makers to manufacture” but hundreds of dollars for patients to purchase – and allowing for the legal importation of prescription drugs from other countries in which the price is lower. Trump has faced serious pushback from the pharmaceutical industry, as well as criticism from both sides of the aisle. Trump was scheduled to meet with pharmaceutical leaders on Tuesday.

    RIGHT

    The Right is split in its support. The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board said his plan is almost identical to that of Democrats,’ which supports an “international price index and other government controls.” They wrote regarding Trump’s speech, “Did Bernie Sanders’ ghost write his remarks?” Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) noted that a “narrower bill from House Republicans” would be a better way to achieve the goal of lowering costs than the president’s. The Right argues that private companies do a better job at negotiating drug prices than the government, and many conservatives argue against foreign price controls.

    “Everywhere they’ve been tried, price controls have reduced biopharmaceutical research spending, resulting in fewer vaccines, therapeutics, and cures.”

    Sally C. Price, President of The Pacific Research Institute

    However, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R- IA) praised Trump, saying he “continues to lead the way in the battle to lower prescription drug prices, refusing to back down as Big Pharma fights reform at every turn.”

    LEFT

    The Left supports certain aspects of the orders but criticizes Trump’s move, calling it “election-year posturing.” According to NBC News, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that “that if Trump is serious about lowering prices, he should tell Senate Republicans to pass [my] bill.” The Democrats’ bill, which passed through the House last year but failed to move through the Senate, would have authorized Medicare to negotiate prices directly. One of Trump’s orders which would “use the lowest price among other economically advanced countries to set what Medicare pays for certain drugs” is similar to Democrat-supported measures. Previously, Rep. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) has also supported the importation of prescription drugs, saying it would “increase competition and substantially lower prices.”

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