Healthcare

Congress Didn’t Act on Prescription Drug Prices. So President Trump Did.

3 minute read

This story first appeared in 1600 Daily, the White House’s evening newsletter. Subscribe now to get breaking news from President Trump before anyone else.



Americans have waited decades for Washington to keep its promise to fix soaring prescription drug prices. Now, thanks to President Trump, that long wait is over.

The President signed four sweeping executive orders on Friday, which together will significantly lower the cost of prescription drugs while increasing access to life-saving medications such as insulin:

  • The first order directs federally qualified health centers to pass along massive discounts on insulin and epinephrine from drug companies to low-income Americans.
  • The second order will allow the safe, legal importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other countries where the price for identical drugs is lower.
  • The third order will prohibit secret deals between drug manufacturers and pharmacy “benefit manager” middlemen, ensuring patients directly benefit from available discounts at the pharmacy counter.
  • The fourth order ensures the United States pays the lowest price available among economically advanced countries for Medicare Part B drugs. The United States often pays 80 percent more for these drugs than other developed nations.

“The four orders that I’m signing today will completely restructure the prescription drug market, in terms of pricing and everything else, to make these medications affordable and accessible for all Americans,” President Trump said.

In 2018, prescription drugs saw their largest annual price decrease in more than half a century. Average basic premiums for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans have fallen by 13.5 percent since 2017, saving beneficiaries $1.9 billion in premium costs. Friday’s four executive orders build on this crucial progress.

At the White House last week, a number of Americans shared personal stories about the importance of lowering medicine costs for all patients.

After her husband died in an auto accident, Andrea Eckles ended up with more than $15,000 in medical debt when she had to switch healthcare plans. “I work in a very small dental office, and so my only choice for healthcare at that time was what I call the ‘Unaffordable Care Act,’” she said.

Paul Madden has lived with insulin-dependent diabetes for 59 years. “Your work, sir, to ensure that insulin is affordable under Medicare will help guarantee that I and millions of seniors who take insulin realize healthier, more productive, independent, happier lives,” Mr. Madden told the President.

🎬 President Trump: We will finally allow the legal importation of medicine!