President Trump met with leaders of some of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies Tuesday and emphasized the need to lower “astronomical” drug prices, decrease regulations and bring more drug manufacturing into the United States, reports The Washington Post. Trump offered no specific policies, but mentioned increasing competition and “bidding wars” as a way to bring down prices. In the past, he has lashed out at the pharmaceutical industry for “getting away with murder” and threatened to use the government’s bargaining power to force down drug prices for programs like Medicare.
Public Citizen Response
In a response to this proposal, Michael Carome, Director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group wrote:
President Donald Trump’s preposterous promise to pharmaceutical company CEOs to slash U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations by 75 to 80 percent would, if fulfilled, fundamentally destroy the ability of the agency to protect patients and consumers from unsafe or ineffective medications and medical devices, hazardous foods and dietary supplements, and dangerous tobacco products, among other things. The end result would be countless preventable deaths, injuries and illnesses across the U.S. Trump’s horrifying proposal reflects utter ignorance about the FDA’s essential role in protecting public health and once again demonstrates his commitment to placing corporate profits above protecting the safety of the American people.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order this week that aims to slash regulations—an action, advocacy groups say, that puts lives at risk, writes Andrea Germanos for Common Dreams. The order—the latest of a flurry since he took office—states that “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination,” fulfilling a campaign promise he made. “For fiscal year 2017, which is in progress, the heads of all agencies are directed that the total incremental cost of all new regulations, including repealed regulations, to be finalized this year shall be no greater than zero.” Trump said before signing the order: “We’ll be reducing [regulations] big league,” adding “This will be the biggest such act our country has ever seen.”
The president-elect recently described in a YouTube video what he intends to do on his very first day in office, writes Ken Kimmell on InsideSources. Among other things, he will issue a new command to all federal agencies: “If you want to issue a new regulation, you must repeal two existing ones.” So, for example, if the Environmental Protection Agency wants to issue a new rule to protect kids from mercury pollution from power plants, it would need to cut two existing rules, such as reducing lead in drinking water or requiring school buses to cut smog-causing emissions. Or if the Consumer Product Safety Commission wants to protect families from dangerous car seats for children, the commission would need to drop rules such as requiring better labeling of age appropriate toys, or reducing toxic substances in baby products. As these examples illustrate, the idea is absurd. Agencies issue multiple regulations because there are multiple threats to public health, safety and the environment. Each regulation must be judged on its own merits. If a new regulation is warranted, it should be issued. If an existing regulation is outdated or no longer effective, it should be changed. One shouldn’t be held hostage for the other.