Trump Promises Azar Will Get Drug Prices ‘Way Down’ At New HHS Chief’s Swearing-In
President Donald Trump says it will be one of new HHS Secretary Alex Azar's main priorities as he takes up the reins of the agency.
Trump Blasts Drugmakers’ ‘Very Unfair’ Prices
President Donald Trump pledged to bring prescription drug prices “way down” and blasted pharmaceutical manufacturers for “very unfair” price discrimination overcharging Americans. Trump said it’s “very unfair to our country” that manufacturers charge Americans more for the same prescription drugs that they sell at a lower cost in other countries as he swore in former Eli Lilly & Co. President Alex Azar as his Health and Human Services Secretary on Monday. (Jacobs and Epstein, 1/29)
Trump: New Health Secretary Will 'Get Those Prescription Prices Way Down'
Trump also pointed to the disparity in the cost of prescription drugs in America compared to other countries, saying that “the exact same pill in an identical box from the same factory costs us much more than, many times more than it does in other countries. And nobody knows that process better than Alex. And we’re going to get it done because it’s very unfair for our country.” The remarks echoed back to statements Trump made almost exactly a year ago, when he met with pharmaceutical industry executives and said that “we have to get prices down for a lot of reasons.” Just a few weeks before, he said that the industry is “getting away with murder.” (Swetlitz, 1/29)
Azar Sworn In As HHS Chief
“As our new secretary, Alex will continue to implement the administrative and regulatory changes needed to ensure that our citizens get the affordable high quality care that they deserve,” Trump said at the White House. Azar will also be charged with curbing the opioid crisis, Trump said. “I think we’re going to be very tough on the drug companies in that regard and very tough on doctors in that regard,” he said. (Roubein, 1/29)
In other pharmaceutical news —
FDA Has To Explain Why Amgen Was Denied A Key Marketing Incentive
Did the Food and Drug Administration treat Amgen (AMGN) differently than Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) when reviewing applications for their drugs? A federal judge ruled late last week that the agency, in fact, may have acted inconsistently when it denied pediatric exclusivity for a blockbuster Amgen drug and ordered the FDA to explain its reasoning. The ruling could mean that Amgen may eventually win six months of pediatric exclusivity, which would allow the company to forestall generic competition to a best-selling drug. (Silverman, 1/30)