Trump’s false prescription drug claims

President Trump’s loud and repeated claims about lowering drug prices and taking on Big Pharma are helping him in some polls, but his policies aren’t helping patients who need affordable medicines. It’s time to set the record straight.

Trump Claim: Thanks to me, insulin is now “as cheap as water.”

Insulin is definitely not cheap unless you consider $300 per vial a good deal. President Trump has done nothing to stop drug companies from hiking the price of insulin as high as they want–that’s why 1 in 4 people are rationing the medicine. Instead of taking on Big Pharma, Trump capped costs for a small number of seniors while doing nothing to address prices for the 90% of Americans.

Trump Claim: I’m lowering drug prices massively, by 50%.

Not only has Trump not lowered drug prices, but prices have continued to increase. In 2020, Big Pharma has already raised the price of 2,519 drugs. The average hike so far this year is 6.9%. Drug prices have increased faster than any other medical good or service, increasing by 33 percent since 2014.

Trump Claim: I’m taking on big Pharma to lower drug prices.

Trump has done far more to help drug corporations than to lower drug prices for seniors, families or patients. Besides giving the drug corporations billions in breaks under his 2017 tax law and funneling nearly $11 billion in “no strings attached” public funding to Big Pharma, Trump shielded big Pharma from any reforms which would actually limit their profits–and they know it. Pharma executives are “not expecting any impact,” from Trump’s flurry of pre-election executive orders.

Trump Claim: “We will be substantially LOWERING Medicare Premiums and Prescription Drug Prices.”

Trump pledged in 2016 that he would lower drug prices by making drug companies “negotiate like crazy,” but then refused to support the Lower Drug Costs Now Act–a bipartisan bill passed in the House to finally allow Medicare to negotiate for lower prices and make medicine affordable. Now, Trump is trying to repeal the ACA, which closed the Medicare Part D “donut” hole and saved nearly 12 million seniors over $26.8 billion on drugs between 2010 and 2016.

Trump Claim: Drug executive orders “will completely restructure the prescription drug market.”

Trump had nearly four years to keep his promises on lowering drug prices and failed. His rapid-fire executive proposals right before the election are too little, too late. Not one of his executive actions will do anything to take away Big Pharma’s power to charge any price they want for medicine. Most of the proposals won’t even go into effect anytime in the near future–if ever. Others may not hold up under legal scrutiny and or are expected to do little to make medicines affordable.