Photo courtesy of WhiteHouse.gov
I’m a Democrat and voting for Joe Biden. It’s good to be honest. Biden supporters may view my blog post more favorably, while Trump supporters might be more skeptical. I can live with that. You can all fact check me. But ask yourselves: “have my prescription drug costs gone down over the past four years”? If you want to respond in the comments, please do so politely. About 25% of Americans, many tens of millions of people, say they have a hard time affording their meds. As I mention below, we should all get along on this issue. It’s not only critical that we end the madness of high drug prices in America, but let’s unify when we agree!!
My quick and dirty position point here is that most of Trump’s efforts to lower drug prices have either failed and/or are simply political window dressing to help him get elected. Before my fellow Democrats turn up your noses, just know that Obama promised to take on Big Pharma, too, but he did not. For a positive spin, Trump’s bashing Big Pharma rhetoric may have future political reverberations on the Republican party in favor of real actions to lower drug prices.
Trump said before and after his inauguration that the drug companies were “getting away with murder” and that prices would come “way down”. Source: https://khn.org/morning-breakout/pharma-is-still-getting-away-with-murder-trump-says-hinting-at-intent-to-bring-down-costs/.
I’m sorry, America: Drug prices remain exorbitantly high. They don’t have to be. So many issues divide our country. Not this one. Republican and Democratic voters overwhelmingly agree that drug prices are too high, on legislative and policy reforms to fix the problem. Case in point: 80% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats believe that Medicare should be allowed to negotiate with drug companies for lower drug prices. On drug importation, 76% of Republicans and 78% of Democrats support it. [Source: Kaiser Family Foundation]. Where else is there such bipartisan unity these days?
As founder of Prescription Justice, a non-profit and non-partisan organization, I’m trying to make lowering drug prices an advocacy efforts that really brings us all together. Please come check out what we’re doing!
Look, Trump has claimed “Drug prices are coming down, first time in 51 years because of my administration.” There are tiny pebbles of truth here. PolitiFact rates this claim Mostly False. It’s a good analysis. The gist is that threats by Trump may have slightly slowed increases among the big companies but nothing substantive was accomplished.
Trump’s famous executive orders on drug prices of this past summer have not lowered drug prices but were the stuff of reality TV. He would argue to give him time but why did he wait until the last year of his administration, just as his campaign was kicking into 5th gear to take these actions?
With one of his executive orders, Trump opened up the policy door to expand drug importation – but there’s vast leeway to shut that door quickly. I wrote about the executive order on Ask PharmacyChecker and specifically about what we could hope for if Biden wins to keep moving forward on importation.
I strongly believe that a Biden administration would enact policies to lower drug prices in a manner equally satisfying to Republicans and Democrats. I realize that drug prices aren’t the only issue. But when the election is over, let’s come together and end the crisis of high drug prices in America.trump