Welch to meet with President Trump on lowering prescription drug prices

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Welch to meet with President Trump on lowering prescription drug prices

Tue, 03/07/2017 - 3:47pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Representative Elijah E Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is scheduled to meet with President Donald J Trump on Wednesday to discuss lowering prescription drug prices.  Cummings will be joined by Representative Peter Welch (D-Vermont), a senior Democrat on the Oversight Committee and the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Dr Redonda G Miller, President of The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

“The President promised—both during the campaign and after—that he would support efforts to stem the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs, so I am looking forward to discussing ideas he said he supports,” said Cummings.  “Our hope is that the President will make good on his promise and join us in convincing congressional Republicans to finally start helping American families who rely on these life-saving medications.”

“President Trump promised relief to seniors and families getting crushed by unjustifiable and exorbitant prescription drug price increases,” said Welch. Just last week, the Burlington Free Press reported on a Vermont family that would be charged $89,000 annually to treat their son's muscular dystrophy with a drug produced in the United States that cost them just $500 annually when purchased in the United Kingdom. It’s time for the President and Congress to roll up our sleeves and enact legislation that provides urgently needed relief to taxpayers and consumers, including empowering the federal government to negotiate with drug companies for lower Medicare drug prices.”

“Access to affordable medicine is critical to effective care, both in the hospital setting and after patients return home," said Redonda G. Miller, M.D., M.B.A., president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. "As a physician and hospital executive, I have the unique experience of seeing the clinical and financial repercussions of drug price spikes."

President Trump pledged in December:  “I’m going to bring down drug prices.”  He has also warned that the pharmaceutical industry is “getting away with murder.”

Drug prices continue to skyrocket.  Over the past ten years, 90% of brand name drugs have doubled in price, and prescription drug spending reached $348 billion last year.  A 2014 Commonwealth Foundation survey found that nearly 20% of people reported not filling prescriptions because they could not afford them. 

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that “an overwhelming majority of Americans favor government action to restrain prescription drug prices.”

Source: Welch 3.7.2017