President Trump sure did soften his tone toward the drug industry at his meeting with top executives yesterday. Instead of bashing greedy drug lobbyists again, this was his opening line: "You folks have done a terrific job over the years, but we have to get prices down." And he focused on reforming the Food and Drug Administration, cutting regulations, making other countries pay their "fair share" for drug prices, and encouraging competition.
A few highlights, and you can read more in my story here:
Ending "global freeloading": "Our trade policy will prioritize that foreign countries pay their fair share for U.S.-manufactured drugs."
Market-based solutions: "Competition, the key to lower drug prices. We have competition, but a lot of times, the competition dissipates."
FDA commissioner pick is coming soon: "We have a fantastic person that I think I we'll be naming fairly soon, he's going to streamline the FDA and you're going to get your products either approved or not approved, but it's going to be a quick process."
How the drug execs reacted: They were pleased — though they acknowledged there was a lot of talk about drug prices (especially when Trump called them "astronomical"). "We all understand the concern he's raising" about out-of-pocket costs for drugs, said Eli Lilly's Dave Ricks, but "we did not get into elaborate policy detail."