Trump signs executive orders intended to lower drug prices

National News
Donald Trump

President Donald Trump speaks during an event to sign executive orders on lowering drug prices, in the South Court Auditorium in the White House complex, Friday, July 24, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Trump signed multiple executive orders on Friday aimed at lowering the cost of prescription drugs such as insulin.

The executive orders the president signed will require discounts on insulin and EpiPens that were given to some hospitals to be passed on to patients; and speed up a proposal to import prescription drugs from Canada and other countries for pharmacies, wholesalers and states. The president said the changes should eliminate the “middlemen” in drug purchases.

“The middlemen are making a fortune,” Mr. Trump said, joking he probably sees some of them in Palm Beach, Florida.  

Mr. Trump said drug company executives will be at the White House on Tuesday and if they don’t agree on a solution, an executive order will go into effect to make sure Medicare plans pay the lowest price on the international pharmaceutical market.

Americans pay more for prescription drugs each year than people in any other developed country in the world, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. 

As the coronavirus crisis rages on just a few months before Election Day, the president has honed in on health care, which continues to be an important issue for voters. Among likely voters, a CBS News poll earlier this month found 71% said health care is a “major” factor in their vote for president. 

In a Fox News interview last week, Mr. Trump claimed he would be signing a health care plan in about two weeks, without any substantiating information. Any health care overhaul would have to be passed by a divided Congress. 

“We’re signing a healthcare plan within two weeks, a full and complete health care plan,” the president told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “We’re going to sign an immigration plan, a health care plan, and various other plans. Nobody will have done what I’m doing in the next four weeks.” 

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