President Donald Trump said pharmaceutical industry executives have been summoned to the White House to announce “voluntary, massive drops in prices.”
He said the CEOs will deliver that news in a few weeks, contending the alleged reduction in drug costs is the product of pressure applied by his administration.
During a speech earlier this month about his plan to bring down prices, the president promised his administration would stop drug manufacturers from taking advantage of regulatory processes and get over-the-counter medications approved faster, among other moves. Democratic lawmakers, however, quickly dismissed his plan as anything but, saying he was unlikely to deliver.
“We will see those prices go down, it will be a beautiful thing to watch,” Trump said earlier this month. “This is a total rip-off and we are ending it.”
Watch: Trump Discusses Health Care Plans at ‘Right to Try’ Bill Signing
His announcement about the drug industry CEOs came during an event that saw him sign legislation making it legal for terminally ill patients to access medications still considered experimental. After clearing both chambers of Congress with bipartisan votes, the “Right to Try” bill is the law of the land.
Trump credited Vice President Mike Pence with “really working it” as he helped lawmakers craft and pass the measure.
The president hailed it as the “best bill for the people,” claiming he “couldn’t care less” about the insurance companies and drug manufacturers that will be affected by the new law. Trump touted putting his signature on the measure as a campaign trail promise kept.
Without providing any supporting data, Trump predicted the law could save “hundreds of thousands of lives.”
Trump thanked several lawmakers in attendance who helped push the bill to his desk, including Indiana Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly.
“Thank you very much. That’s really great,” he told Donnelly.
That is a different tone from the one Trump struck earlier this month during an event in the Hoosier State. “You can send a really incredible ‘swamp person’ back to the Senate, like Joe Donnelly,” the president said then.
Trump on Wednesday clarified his Tuesday night health care announcement, saying his administration soon will roll out two health care plans.
One will come via the Department of Health and Human Services and another from the Labor Department. Together with the GOP tax law, they collectively would, if ever fully enacted, replace the Obama-era Affordable Care Act, he claimed.