President Donald Trump last week unveiled his administration’s plan to lower drug prices. But investors seemed relieved after the president made his highly anticipated announcement – stocks for large pharmaceutical companies and middlemen, like pharmacy benefit managers, were up on Friday.
Trump did not commit to follow through with promises he made while campaigning for office, like enabling Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Instead, he scolded the industry and said his administration is working on plans to boost competition from generic drugs.
He also floated the idea of requiring pharmaceutical companies to disclose their prices in television ads.
Trump also reportedly attacked policies in countries outside the U.S., claiming that they craft artificially low drug prices to ensure that Americans take on the burden of paying for expensive R&D.
“Everyone involved in the broken system – the drugmakers, the insurance companies, the distributors, the pharmacy benefit managers and many others – contribute to the problem. Government has also been part of the problem, because previous leaders turned a blind eye to this incredible abuse. But under this administration, we are putting American patients first,” he said.
Trump noted that the secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, Alex Azar, plans to roll out a series of proposals aimed at lowering drug prices. Azar unveiled those plans in greater detail after Trump’s speech.
While the president described his administration’s efforts as “the most sweeping action in history to lower the price of prescription drugs for the American people,” analysts from Jefferies called it a “non-event,” according to Peter Loftus from The Wall Street Journal.