The top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee accused President Donald Trump of reneging on a campaign pledge to take forceful action to rein in escalating prescription drug prices.
"Recent reports indicate you are poised to issue an executive order that implement administrative action culled directly from the pharmaceutical industry wish list," Rep. Elijah Cummings wrote in a letter June 21 to the president urging him to rethink an executive order addressing drug prices that the White House is preparing. "This would be a betrayal of the very people who supported you and rely on you to make good on your promises."
Cummings, who was joined in the letter by Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., said he is disappointed that Trump appears unwilling to let Medicare use its market leverage to negotiate lower drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.
The Maryland lawmaker recounted a March 8 meeting that he and Welch had with Trump in the Oval Office to discuss drug price policy. "You appeared to embrace our draft legislation, the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act, which would implement your oft-repeated campaign pledge to empower the federal government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to lower medicare drug prices—a proposal supported by 92% of Americans."
They note that Trump directed Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to review the legislation and provide feedback. "Since our meeting more than three months ago, we have heard nothing more from you or Secretary Price," they wrote.
Cummings and Welch said Trump's campaign promises gave hope to many supporters of government intervention in drug prices, "but your planned executive actions suggest that you have abandoned these promises in favor of the very pharmaceutical lobby you warned of."