President Trump met with two Democratic congressmen Wednesday to discuss a draft bill that would allow the government to directly negotiate prices with drugmakers under Medicare, in another sign of the President's interest in taking action on rising drug costs.
The meeting between Cummings and Mr. Trump was in the works for several weeks.
Cummings, Welch and Miller said they though their conversations with the president on a bill to reduce the price of what the government pays for drugs went well. Cummings said the president is on top of it and "he gets it", in regards to prescription drug prices.
"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", Cummings said in a statement Tuesday.
Trump was "enthusiastic" about the topic of drug pricing, Cummings told reporters after the meeting.
Allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices is not a new idea, but Cummings and Welch painted a picture Wednesday of a political landscape that is ripe for change.
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Holtz-Eakin points out that insurers are already used to managing health care for beneficiaries and there are formularies in those plans. "Basically, what the Medicare program does is it buys wholesale but pays retail". Naming of a candidate to head the Food and Drug Administration, expected to come soon, could offer more clues on the direction Trump hopes to take.
In January, the president accused drugmakers of "getting away with murder" on drug prices.
"We don't do it", Trump said that day, according to the Associated Press.
PhRMA, the drug industry's powerful lobbying group, says price negotiation is already happening.
"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".