Washington: U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday blasted drugmakers and healthcare “middlemen” for making prescription medicines unaffordable for Americans.
Trump has directed his top trade negotiator to strongly take up with all countries the fixing of prices of American pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
Donald Trump hit out at foreign countries that benefit from US pharmaceutical research as he launched an initiative to lower drug costs, but he stopped short of measures that would crimp American companies’ profits.
Trump complained that foreign countries were paying “a tiny fraction of what the medical costs in the USA” as his officials said overseas buyers were not contributing their fair share to research and development costs.
“It’s unfair and it’s ridiculous and it’s not going to happen any longer,” Trump said in a speech at the White House on Friday.
It’s time to end the global freeloading once and for all. I have directed US Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer to make fixing this injustice a top priority with every trading partner, he said.
Describing such fixing of prices by other countries as unjustified and done at the expense of America’s research and development, Trump said that the US can longer tolerate such behaviour by others.
Trump’s new policy actions on lowering drug prices, could also have an impact on US-India bilateral trade relations given that the American industry has been fighting with the recent Indian government move to fix the prices of certain highly expensive pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
As we demand fairness for American patients at home, we will also demand fairness overseas. When foreign governments extort unreasonably low prices from US drug makers, Americans have to pay more to subsidise the enormous cost of research and development, Trump said in a major policy speech in the Rose Garden of the White House.