Did you notice how last night, during the first debate, virtually all the candidates took an opportunity to bash Big Pharma just about as hard as humanly possible? No? Is that because you didn’t watch the first Democratic debate?
If the answer is “yes,” that’s fair. Nonetheless, it happened, and left some political junkies on Twitter scratching their heads. Has Big Pharma become the new Koch Brothers or Wall Street or King Coal or or Big Tech for progressives– or indeed voters, overall?
By a 9-to-1 ratio, Republicans, Democrats and independents favor making drug companies show list prices in their advertising… Highly advertised medicines such as Humira, for arthritis, cost tens of thousands of dollars a year, even after discounts.
Although Republicans tend to frown on government control over commerce, 8 in 10 Republican respondents said they support giving negotiating power to the $700 billion Medicare program in order to lower drug prices for seniors.
More than 70 percent of all respondents back importing drugs from Canada and capping out-of-pocket Medicare costs. More than 80 percent said they favor making it easier for less expensive generics to compete with brand-name drugs.
It’s easy to poke intellectual, and even legal, holes in these proposals. But those numbers explain a lot about Trump’s own behavior and rhetoric, as well as those of the likes of Klobuchar.
Another iteration of this: At the end of 2018, the Trump administration announced that it would be setting ceiling price regulations on drugs in the 340B prescription drug program and setting up a transparency database related to those drugs’ prices. As a reminder, 340B is a non-taxpayer-funded program under which Big Pharma has to offer discounts on drugs for poorer patients in exchange for getting access to entitlement money (which they lobbied to expand with Obamacare and Medicare Part D).