July 16,2018

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Taylor Harvey (202) 224-4515

Wyden Highlights Trump's Lack of Action to Lower Drug Prices as Blueprint Comment Period Ends

After More than 18 Months in Office, Trump Has Not Stopped Sky-High Drug Price Increases

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today issued a statement as the comment period for the Trump Administration’s drug pricing “blueprint” comes to a close.

“Trump has spent nearly half of his presidency making empty promises on drug prices while Big Pharma continues to raise prices on Americans unabated,” Wyden said. “Democrats have solutions that could be signed into law today to bring down costs for families immediately, but the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress seem more interested in playing stall ball. It is also critical that the Trump Administration makes these responses public so the American people can see what each industry and interest is asking for.” 

The close of the comment period comes as large pharmaceutical manufacturers have raised prices dramatically on dozens of drugs since the beginning of July, after Department of Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Alex Azar said he hoped these companies would “exercise restraint” when considering prices increases. A newly released index showed that many drug prices have increased by nearly 25 to 40 percent since Trump announced his candidacy, while prices for other consumer goods have risen 5.6 percent.

Wyden has long said the entire drug supply chain must be addressed, and recently released a report outlining the supply chain’s tangled webs that leads to higher costs for consumers and taxpayers. He has also introduced legislation aimed at a number of links in the drug supply chain. He’s offered the SPIKE Act, which forces drug manufacturers to provide justification when they drastically increase drug prices. The C-THRU Act would reveal the amount of drug rebates middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) pocket for themselves versus how much they pass along in savings to consumers. To limit out-of-pocket costs to patients, Wyden introduced the RxCAP Act which caps how much seniors in Medicare have to pay for their Medicare Part D drugs, who currently don’t have such protection today.