Major pharmaceutical companies will announce “voluntary, massive” cuts in drug prices in two weeks, President Donald Trump said Wednesday, without providing details.
“We’re also working very hard at getting the cost of medicine down, and I think people are going to start to see for the first time ever in this country a major drop in the cost of prescription drugs,” Trump said while signing legislation making it easier for terminally ill patients to get access to experimental drugs.
The president said drug company executives, whom he didn’t name, would visit the White House to make the announcement. The White House didn’t respond to a request for further details on the plan.
The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index pared gains after Trump’s comments before recovering. The index was up 1.4% at 1:48 p.m. in New York.
Trump announced a plan earlier this month to bring down drug prices in the U.S., though doubts that the proposals would amount to much led pharmaceutical stocks to climb at the time. The president has a habit of promising actions in two weeks and then missing those deadlines.
Trump on Wednesday also touted new rules his administration is poised to release that would expand loosely regulated short-term insurance plans and let small firms band together under association health plans to act more like larger employers and buy cheaper health coverage.
“We’re going to have great, inexpensive, really good health care,” Trump said.
Many groups, including insurance companies and patient advocates, have raised concerns that the new rules would raise the cost of coverage for sick patients who need Obamacare coverage and can’t switch to cheaper plans that will offer fewer benefits.
— Read also, on ThinkAdvisor:
- Drug Prices Drive Many Americans to Black Market for Medicines
- Insurers to Trump: Let Our Drug Price Negotiators Work
- Trump Health Nominee Faces Another Grilling on U.S. Drug Costs