By Vishwadha Chander, Steve Holland & Carl O’Donnell; Reuters ~ Jul 27, 2020
(Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s meeting with top pharmaceutical executives that was scheduled for Tuesday has been called off, a White House official said.
“We’ve been more than accommodating” in trying to set it up, the White House official told Reuters on Monday, adding that they couldn’t get all the executives at the same time.
Politico had earlier reported here citing industry sources, that the discussion was called off because major drug lobbies, reeling from a series of executive orders, refused to send any members.
Trump on Friday here signed four executive orders aimed at lowering the prices Americans pay for prescription drugs, as he faces an uphill re-election battle and criticism over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The drug lobbies PhRMA and BIO were reluctant to send representatives from their member companies after conflicting reports last week about whether the White House would include the rule and little information to date about what the new rule would look like, Politico reported.
Both, PhRMA and BIO said the president’s plan to import policies from socialized health care systems abroad would hinder the industry’s efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
While they oppose policies that would allow foreign governments to set prices for medicines in the United States, the two lobbies said they were ready to discuss ways to lower costs for prescription drugs.
Reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru, Steve Holland in Washington D.C. and Carl O’Donnell in New York; Editing by Anil D’Silva
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