Liebe Leser, über die erste Pressekonferenz von President-Elect Donald Trump ist viel berichtet worden, auch in der deutschen Presse. Doch dabei ging es hauptsächlich um die Themen Hacker-Angriffe, sein Firmenimperium, das er für die Zeit seiner Präsidentschaft an seine Söhne übertragen will, um Fake-News und sein Verhältnis zur Presse. Über die Inhalte seines Programms wurde kaum berichtet. So auch nicht darüber, dass er sich die Pharmaindustrie vorknöpfen will. "Industry is getting away with murder", hat er gesagt. Dies bezog sich auf die exorbitant hohen Arzneimittelpreise in den USA, den höchsten der Welt.
Speaking at his first news conference since winning the presidential election, Donald Trump said the drug industry has too much power and vowed to create new bidding procedures. (The Washington Post)
SAN FRANCISCO -- At his first news conference as president-elect on Wednesday, Donald Trump accused the pharmaceutical industry of “getting away with murder” and said that he would change the way the country bids on drugs to bring prices and spending down.
“Pharma has a lot of lobbies, a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power. And there’s very little bidding on drugs,” Trump said during the event at Trump Tower in New York. “We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world, and yet we don’t bid properly.”
Federal law forbids the government from negotiating with drug companies to bring down the price of drugs for seniors using Medicare. While Trump did not announce a specific plan to address the issue, he has in the past called for ending the policy -- a proposal that Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly put forward.
The comment dropped a bomb into the middle of the drug industry’s major annual investor conference underway in San Francisco this week, sending pharmaceutical and biotech stocks plunging. The iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index closed down 3 percent Wednesday.
“If anybody is walking away from this conference thinking ‘business as usual,’ I think that’s a mistake,” Bresch said. “The pricing model has got to change. It’s not incremental change; I don’t think that’s what this country needs. I think it’s truly rethinking the business model.”
Pharmaceutical company AbbVie announced during the conference that it would temper its drug prices to single-digit increases annually, following similar announcements from Allergan and Novo Nordisk in recent months.
The announcement was unrelated to Trump’s comments, which came as the company was giving a presentation at the conference. Chief executive Richard Gonzalez said he had little insight into what Trump’s criticism would mean for the industry.
“I don’t have a crystal ball as to what changes the president has in mind,” he said.
In a phone interview, Allergan chief executive Brent Saunders pointed out that, in many respects, the expected pro-business agenda under Trump and a Republican Congress — such as corporate tax reform — will benefit the industry. But public anger about drug prices remains a vulnerability, he added.
Saunders has been outspoken that drug companies should show restraint in pricing to avoid a government intervention that could stifle the industry.
“Unfortunately, this is what I was worried about,” Saunders said. “It’s a complete contradiction to say the industry is getting away with murder when the industry is committed to saving and improving lives.”
“It goes to show the sentiment, and that causes investors that aren’t health-care specialists pause, in terms of investing in health care,” Saunders said. “It could cause investors in venture capital to have pause in putting money long term into health care, and it could stifle innovation.”
Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) introduced a bill last week that would allow for Medicare negotiation. A 2007 Congressional Budget Office analysis found that the ability to negotiate alone for Medicare’s prescription drug benefit could be fairly toothless, having a “negligible effect on Medicare drug spending” without the ability to set prices or exclude drugs from coverage altogether by creating a formulary.
After Trump’s critical comments on the pharmaceutical industry, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted his agreement.
Ronny Gal, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein and Co., said that many drug manufacturers have been gradually moving manufacturing overseas, particularly generic manufacturing.