WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he planned to meet with pharmaceutical companies this week regarding his so-called most- favored-nation executive order aimed at lowering drug prices paid by the U.S. federal government.
The president signed the executive order this summer which, among other things, would require Medicare to tie the prices it pays for drugs to those paid by other countries. Its implementation, however, has been delayed as the administration seeks to work out a solution with the industry.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), a pharmaceutical industry trade group that has worked closely with the Trump administration on drug pricing issues, is not aware of a meeting scheduled for this week, spokeswoman Nicole Longo said.
Trump said the drugmakers had a “real problem” with his decision.
“So, they’re coming in to see me, and we expect to get a very substantial price reduction in prescription drugs, which has never been done before,” Trump told reporters at Joint Base Andrews as he departed for Wisconsin. “They’re coming … this week.”
Under the rule, the Medicare insurance program would only pay a price for a drug that matches the lowest price paid among foreign governments. Medicare, which covers older Americans and those with disabilities, is currently prohibited from negotiating the prices it pays to drugmakers.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz and Jeff Mason in Washington, D.C., Carl O’Donnell in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis)