Trump Applauds US Congress' New Drug Price Reduction Measures, Calls For Bipartisan Action

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 20th September, 2019) US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Grassley's proposed bills to reduce the costs of US medications are welcome and should be supported in a bipartisan way, President Donald Trump said in a statement.

"I like Senator Grassley's drug pricing bill very much, and it's great to see Speaker Pelosi's bill today," Trump said in a Twitter message on Thursday. "Let's get it done in a bipartisan way!"

Trump said his administration was responsible for the first fall in medication costs in the United States for nearly half a century but Congress had to pass legislation to expedite the process.

Pelosi earlier in the day unveiled a bill that calls for the Federal government to negotiate prices for the most expensive drugs on an annual basis.

In July, the Senate Finance Committee passed a drug price reduction bill, co-sponsored by Grassley and Senator Ron Wyden, that targeted pharmaceutical manufacturers with financial penalties if their price rises were higher than current inflation rates.

Grassley has advised the Republican majority that runs the Senate to support his legislation before Pelosi and the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives persuade Trump to support a more left-leaning or socialist bill.

Trump has considered several different approaches to end and roll back the drug price increases such as importing more medicines from Canada.

From 2012 to 2017, a sample of 49 top selling drugs studied rose by 76 percent largely due to government-protected market exclusivity, the American Medical Association said in a study.

The price of 3,400 drugs rose by 10.5 percent in the first half of 2019 with 40 drugs rising by more than 100 percent, according to Rx Savings Solutions. A Health Cost Institute report found that insulin prices doubled from 2012 - 2016.

In 2018, pharmaceutical manufacturers spent nearly $170 million lobbying Congress to stymie legislative efforts to control drug prices.