Trump signs executive orders to cut prescription drug prices

The President is scheduled to meet pharmaceutical bosses on July 28.

Washington: US President Donald Trump has signed four executive orders aimed at cutting prescription drug prices, which would allow discounts and import of cheaper drugs from abroad.

“The four orders I’m signing today will completely restructure the prescription drug market,” the BBC quoted Trump, who has long criticised “astronomical” prices, as saying on Friday.

The President is scheduled to meet pharmaceutical bosses on July 28.

Since taking office, Trump has made repeated attacks against those who set drug prices and has pledged to take radical steps to reduce them.

But some industry analysts have criticised Friday’s move, saying it would not have much effect.

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“This administration has decided to pursue a radical and dangerous policy to set prices based on rates paid in countries that he (Trump) has labelled as socialist, which will harm patients today and into the future,” Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America was quoted as saying by the BBC.

It said Trump’s move was “a reckless distraction that impedes our ability to respond to the current (coronavirus) pandemic – and those we could face in the future”.

According to a 2019 report by the OECD group of industrialised nations, the US spends roughly twice the average amount spent by other member countries on pharmaceuticals per head.

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For example, where the UK paid $497 per head in 2015, the US spent $1,162.

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