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Statement by Kirsten Gillibrand: Trump Failed to Deliver on Reducing Prescription Drug Prices. Here's My Plan to Do It.

July 10, 2019

No more broken promises — I'll hold pharmaceutical companies accountable and make prescription drugs affordable.

Right now, somewhere in America, a family is making an impossible decision: Do they pay for the medication they desperately need, or do they use that money to keep food on the table? That's not a choice anyone should have to make.

President Trump's broken promise

In March of last year, President Trump promised, "You'll be seeing drug prices falling very substantially in the not-too-distant future, and it's going to be beautiful."

He broke that promise.

This year alone drug prices have jumped 10.5%. That's five times faster than the rate of inflation. Americans pay more for prescription drugs than any other country in the world — and it takes an even bigger toll on people with chronic health conditions and low-income people.

Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies have the highest profit margins in the health care industry, and predatory business practices — from spiking drug prices without justification to knowingly pushing dangerous drugs to drive up their bottom line — are rampant.

No more broken promises. We need to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable and lower the cost of health care for everyone.

How I'll fix it

As president, I'll rein in drug prices, stop drug companies from gouging patients and putting them at risk, and ensure that all patients have access to affordable medications. Here's how:

I'll create a Pharmaceutical Czar position through a presidential order to hold the industry accountable.

As part of my administration, I'll appoint a Pharmaceutical Czar to lead an investigative and enforcement task force, which will exhaustively audit the predatory business practices of the pharmaceutical industry. The task force will work across agencies and include officials from the Department of Justice, Health and Human Services, Commerce, the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other regulatory agencies to assess every inch of their business dealings and marketing and sales practices.

I'll penalize and prosecute drug companies that hurt Americans.

As the joint investigative task force monitors and assesses pharmaceutical companies' business dealings, we will penalize and prosecute where necessary. I'll penalize drug companies that increase prices without justification, and reinvest the penalty revenue into drug research at the National Institutes of Health. I'll also prosecute pharmaceutical companies and executives who knowingly push more addictive drugs and doses for the sake of their profits with criminal and civil charges.

I'll allow safe importation and negotiation of drug prices.

I'll instruct Health and Human Services to set guidelines for the importation of safe, more affordable prescription drugs from licensed sellers in Canada. I'll also put Medicare on the same footing as other federal health programs by allowing the program to negotiate for lower prices on prescription drugs.

I believe health care is a right, and that includes having access to the medication you need. I don't care how powerful Big Pharma is, or how infallible they think they are. I'll fight to hold the industry accountable and lower prescription drug prices — and unlike President Trump, I'll get it done.

Kirsten Gillibrand, Statement by Kirsten Gillibrand: Trump Failed to Deliver on Reducing Prescription Drug Prices. Here's My Plan to Do It. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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