Cummings, Trump meeting on drug prices back on
- Author: Joanne Flowers Mar 09, 2017,
Mar 09, 2017, 2:51
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, presented President Trump with a bill aimed at reducing prescription drug prices during a meeting at the White House on Wednesday - and Mr. Trump was "enthusiastic" about the proposal, the congressman said at a stakeout after the meeting, adding that a bill will be filed on the issue in a few weeks. In a press conference last month, the president said he had been scheduled to meet with Cummings, but the congressman backed out of the meeting because, in Mr. Trump's telling, "He was probably told, 'Don't meet with Trump".
"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", the Baltimore lawmaker said Tuesday. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news. He pledged he would bring down drug prices.
"The thing that got me talking to him from the very beginning is I heard him say the pharma industry was.getting away with murder with what they were doing", Cummings said. The president asked Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, to meet with him after hearing Cummings discuss rising drug prices on television.
After his meeting at the White House on Wednesday, Cummings said he pressed that case with the president as well, stressing the need for Vice President Pence's inquiry into voter fraud to also include a look at voter suppression.
Cummings has been a longtime critic of high drug prices, questioning drugs with high list prices and supporting a bill that would allow for drugs to be imported from Canada.
"First of all I don't believe there's voter fraud and if there is, it's minuscule", Cumming said, recalling what he told Trump. This is called the "non-interference clause". "It boiled down to, again, saving people's lives and saving money, and he was clear when you have situations where these companies are jacking up these prices it puts a lot of families in jeopardy".
The bill would allow Part D plans to use additional benefit design and formulary tools to secure steeper discounts or rebates for beneficiaries.
The bill would preserve critical protections for patient access by including in any formulary certain categories and classes of drugs that are protected under current law.
CBO projects that restoring these rebates for brand-name drugs would save taxpayers $145 billion over ten years.
Drug manufacturers that participate in Medicaid are required to provide discounts in the form of rebates back to Medicaid, but there are no similar statutory rebates for Medicare.