[Newsphopick=Kingsley Lim] On 14 July, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, gave a speech, announcing that he will be signing four executive orders to make prescription drug prices more affordable for the masses. However, he said that he is still not satisfied with the reduction in drug prices, especially for seniors, and hopes to do more.
Trump said “Previous administrations did nothing, absolutely nothing, as drug lobbyists, special interests in foreign countries ripped off our citizens. Under the last administration alone, drug prices rose a staggering 55 per cent,” suggesting that the Obama administration did not do anything to curb the rise in drug prices.
He added “Thanks to my administration’s aggressive actions since taking office, we have successfully lowered drug prices for the first time in 51 years.”
“The four orders I’m signing today will completely restructure the prescription drug market in terms of pricing and everything else to make these medications affordable and accessible for all Americans.”
Trump announced that the first order will compel federal community health centres to pass discounts from drug companies to patients who are using EpiPens and Insulin. Over the last several years, the price of insulin and diabetic treatment has soared, making lives unbearable for people afflicted with the disease. If the first executive order comes to pass, patients who use insulin will save a lot of money.
“The second executive order I am signing this afternoon will allow states, wholesalers and pharmacies to do something other politicians have promised for decades and decades but never done,” said Trump.
“We will finally allow the safe and legal importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other countries where the price for the identical drug is incredibly lower,” as he explained that drug prices across the border in Canada are between 30 to 90 per cent lower than in the United States.
With regards to the third executive order, Trump said that the middlemen and women in the distribution of drugs have pocketed much, as drugs are delivered to patients. As such, the order will prevent these middlemen from charging extremely high prices for drugs.
“Frequently drug companies give these middlemen discounts of up to 50% on the price of prescription drugs, but too often those discounts are not passed on to the pharmacy counter, meaning the people,” explained Trump.
The fourth order, according to Trump is a ‘transformative order’ that will force countries which have been paying less than America to pay more in the future. According to Trump, drugs sold within United States could be 80 per cent higher than that sold in Europe. Therefore, Trump says that the US is funding healthcare for the World and this anomaly has to be rectified, by making it fair for all countries that are purchasing drugs.
“Medicare is the largest purchaser of drugs in the world, and we’re finally going to use that incredible power to achieve a fairer and lower price for everyone. Everyone will get a fairer and much lower price,” said Trump.