Perspectives: Trump’s Drug-Pricing Order; Pharmaceutical Executives; Insulin; California’s Drug Market
Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues.
The Washington Post:
Trump Issued Another Toothless Executive Order On Drug Prices
President Trump proclaimed yesterday that he’ll go even bigger and bolder on a long-touted effort to lower drug prices in the United States.But he has yet to put any teeth into the effort, nearly two years after first announcing it.In a move widely regarded as a political play seven weeks before the election, Trump announced via tweet he had signed an executive order aiming to lower drug prices in the Medicare program through what is known as “the most favored nation policy.” If implemented, such an order would require drugmakers to accept the lowest price from the government for medicines paid by comparably wealthy countries in Europe and elsewhere — an aggressive move the pharmaceutical industry is fighting vociferously. (Paige Winfield Cunningham with Alexandra Ellerbeck, 9/14)
Will President Trump’s New Executive Order Lower Drug Prices?
One thing I have learned after several decades in journalism is that when a headline writer writes a headline in the form of the question the answer is usually “no.” If the answer was “yes,” I would have written, “President Trump’s executive order will lower drug prices.” But in this case, we don’t know what this order will do. President Donald Trump says his new order will “ensure” lower drug prices. What the president does not say is that this only applies to some Medicare drug prices and that it may never take effect at all. The Washington Post and others say it is another “toothless” order weeks before an election. (Al Tompkins, 9/15)
Pharma Insiders Are Raking In Money Despite No Guaranteed COVID-19 Vaccine
On March 2, Joseph Kim, Inovio Pharmaceuticals' CEO, was one of a handful of pharmaceutical executives who met with President Donald Trump at the White House. Although Inovio had never brought a vaccine to market, Kim boasted at that meeting about his company's ability to quickly develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Inovio's stock skyrocketed—more than 220 percent—in the days after that meeting. That same week, Inovio's chief financial officer and chief science officer sold $400,000 worth of their combined company shares. Between March and July, top Inovio executives sold nearly $3.5 million in shares inflated by press releases portending hopes for vaccine development. (Gerald Posner and Margarida Jorge, 9/15)
(The Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier:
Fix The Insulin Cost Problem
Millions of diabetics in the United States need insulin to survive. Unfortunately, the cost of this critical drug has risen relentlessly over the past three decades: Even with insurance and discounts, the annual out-of-pocket cost has increased from about $1,000 in 2007 to almost $6,000 today. In recent surveys, about one-fourth of the diabetic population has said it can’t afford to meet basic expenses and buy insulin. That’s a heartbreaking and incredibly difficult choice. (9/14)
The Washington Examiner:
California Should Not Get Into The Drug Manufacturing Business
In an attempt to lower Californians' prescription drug costs, lawmakers just passed a bill that would allow the state government to contract with pharmaceutical manufacturers to produce generic drugs. Gov. Gavin Newsom's signature is all but guaranteed before the end of the month.Golden State politicians aren't the only ones looking to get the government into drug manufacturing. Back in June, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat from Illinois, introduced a bill that would direct the government to manufacture not just drugs but some kinds of medical devices. (Sally Pipes, 9/15)