May 11,2018

Press Contact:

Taylor Harvey (202) 224-4515 

Wyden Responds to Trump Drug Pricing Plan

Trump Administration “Plan” Falls Short of Bold Action American Families Need to Lower Drug Prices

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today responded to a speech by the president regarding high drug prices. The president’s speech corresponded with the release of documents by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) outlining steps the Trump Administration may take in the months ahead on this issue.

“They’re breathing a sigh of relief in pharmaceutical board rooms across the country,” Wyden said. “Today’s announcement is a far cry from what Trump called for when he said the drug companies were ‘getting away with murder.’ It’s still open season for drug companies to set astronomical prices that families can’t afford.” 

On October 16, 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump said the pharmaceutical companies are “getting away with murder.” Since that time, his administration has taken zero concrete actions that would lower drug prices. In fact, almost a year into Trump’s presidency, his second nominee to lead HHS told the Finance Committee that he didn’t know of “any drug price of a branded product that has ever gone down from any company on any drug in the United States.” It’s not clear that situation will be any different under today’s proposals.

“Many of these proposals amount to asking drug companies nicely to lower their prices with zero accountability. Asking other countries to fatten Big Pharma’s wallet and expecting them to lower prices for American families is laughable – just look at the Trump tax law. Drug companies continue to funnel their massive tax windfall into tens of billions of dollars in stock buybacks for their wealthy shareholders, including those overseas, instead of lowering drug prices here at home.

Last month, Wyden released a report detailing how health insurance, pharmaceutical and other health care corporations will receive $100 billion in tax cuts over the next 10 years.

“I’m disappointed with today’s proposal, but there are ideas that the president could build off of with Democrats and Republicans in Congress – including ideas similar to what I’ve proposed for over a year. Republicans should immediately hold hearings with the administration to explain how these ideas affect families and whether the president is interested in working on a bipartisan basis to make good on his promise to the American people.”