Trump Says Drug Importation Plan Coming 'Soon'
Health Care

Trump Says Drug Importation Plan Coming 'Soon'

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President Trump tweeted Friday that he “will soon release a plan to let Florida and other States import prescription drugs that are MUCH CHEAPER than what we have now!”

The Trump administration in July outlined a proposal to allow U.S. states to legally import prescription drugs from Canada and senior administration officials told The Washington Post in September that the president would be issuing an executive order on the subject before long.

The pharmaceutical industry — and Canadian officials —oppose the idea, and regulators have warned it could threaten consumer safety.

Trump on Friday also said he and Republicans stand ready to work with Democrats on bipartisan legislation to lower drug prices, but he criticized a bill by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying it “doesn’t do the trick” and would lead to fewer cures and treatments.

Responding to the president’s tweets, Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation wrote: “Drug prices in other countries like Canada are lower than in the U.S. because the government sets a cap on the prices. That's similar to Speaker Pelosi's bill, which would allow the government to negotiate prices for many drugs on behalf of Medicare and private insurers.”

And Rachel Sachs, a law professor focused on health care at Washington University in St. Louis, noted that the Trump administration claims to oppose the strategies used by other countries to lower drug prices but is hoping to benefit from those lower prices anyway.