Trump Administration Vows Remedy for Headache of High Drug Prices
America will not be “cheated” by foreign countries that “extort” unreasonably low drug prices from U.S. companies, declared President Donald Trump on Friday.
Rolling out an ambitious blueprint to significantly cut the cost of prescription medication here and abroad, Trump announced he is directing U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to make it a priority to prevent foreign countries from forcing American drugmakers to provide medicines at drastically lower prices than in the United States.
“It’s time to end the global freeloading once and for all,” Trump said during a White House Rose Garden event.
Trump did not specifically name any countries, but according to a report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers profit margins on brand-name drugs in the United States are four times as high as in more regulated markets, such as major European countries and Japan.
Earning more profit in such countries presumably would give drugmakers greater maneuverability with their bottom line to charge less in America.
Trump also singled out what he called greedy companies and middlemen, who he declared had grown rich through “dishonest double-dealing,” vowing his administration is now “putting American patients first.”
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Resigns Party Leadership
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak resigned Saturday as the president of leader of UNMO, the ethnic Malay party that has ruled Malaysia since its birth as an independent country in 1957, and as leader of the Barisan Nasional coalition that was ousted in Wednesday's general election.
Earlier Saturday, Najib and his wife were barred from leaving Malaysia.
Malaysia's immigration department said the couple had been "blacklisted" and could not travel.
Najib could face charges stemming from a massive corruption scandal.
His announcement on Facebook that he was going on vacation, but would return after a week, sparked rumors that he was attempting to escape possible prosecution. He denies any wrongdoing.
The Associated Press reports that a leaked flight manifesto showed Najib and his wife were scheduled to leave on a private jet Saturday for Jakarta.