Jan 31, 2017

Trump says foreign countries need to pay "fair share" for drugs

Evan Vucci/AP

Before a meeting with pharmaceutical company executives today at the White House, President Trump explained how he'll get lower drug prices for Americans, without cutting drug company R&D budgets:

Our trade policy will prioritize that foreign countries pay their fair share for U.S. manufactured drugs so our drug companies have greater financial resources to accelerate the development of new cures.

Trump railed against high drug prices, as expected, and vowed to "increase competition and bidding wars big time" in Medicare, which he accused of "price fixing." At the same time, he said he'll cut regulations "at a level nobody's ever seen before" and promised to oppose anything that would make it harder for smaller drug companies to bring their products to market.

But Trump suggested his drug pricing policies will have a heavy dose of "America first." He said it was "very unfair what other countries are doing to us," and told the drug executives that "you have to get your companies back here."

After the meeting, Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and CEO of Merck & Co., said the executives had a "great conversation" with Trump about tax policies, regulations and encouraging medical innovation, according to a pool report. And Stephen Ubl of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America tweeted this:

Go deeper

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

8 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.