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Trump Urges Drug Companies To Lower Prices Of Medicines

Update Date: Feb 01, 2017 07:40 AM EST

In a meeting with executives of drug companies, US President Donald Trump is pushing to lower the cost of medicine. He also pledges that his government will speed up process of approval for new drugs.

Trump complimented the multinational companies saying that they have done a terrific job over the years. However, they have no choice but to bring down the prices of the medicines for Medicare and Medicaid reasons.

The president also wants the manufacturing operations of the drug companies to go back to the United States. Trump promised that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will cut regulations and speed up the process. He considers it disgraceful that drug companies should spend an average of $2 billion to develop a drug and wait for 15 years to get an approval.

According to The Washington Times, drug companies were already warned with their pricing in the US even before Trump took office as president. Present in the meeting are CEOs of Amgen, Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Novartis. The head of the trade group PhRMA was also included.

Ari Friedman and Janet Weiner of the University of Pennsylvania points out why it is difficult to bring down price of medicines. Some pharmaceutical companies implement across the board mark ups even for those classified as not very effective drugs. There is also a dramatic price increases for generic drugs that were formerly inexpensive.

Friedman and Weiner noted that no drug company wants to go through the long process in FDA for getting a permit to manufacture a generic drug. This results to one company being in control of a specific drug. The pricing power now rests in the hands of the drug company.

The authors suggest that FDA should review the process to lower the barriers for potential competitors. The CEOs of drug companies have also expressed their support to Trump's call to lower prices of medicines in the US. 

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