“President Trump has had four years to uphold his promises to provide Americans with a ‘fantastic’ health plan. Now, 40 days out from the election, he’s announcing a string of executive orders that do nothing to provide people with the kind of coverage and security they need, especially in a pandemic.
“Americans are scared, and for good reason. And this unprecedented and dangerous power grab by Health and Human Services Secretary Azar, a Trump appointee, won’t help. Nearly every action the Trump Administration has taken in recent weeks shows far more concern for the health and safety of the President’s re-election campaign than for the American people who are facing imminent harm because of COVID.
“After three years of broken promises, empty rhetoric, and flat out lies it appears that in an act of pure desperation, Donald Trump tried to force the drug companies to send seniors ‘Trump Cards’ with $100 on it in advance of the election.
Let’s be clear on what is happening here: Donald Trump is trying to deceive voters, seniors in particular, with election year stunts to hide the fact that he hasn’t delivered on his much-touted promise to lower drug prices. A new report issued yesterday shows that not only are drug prices not falling as the President claims, they are increasing faster than other medical goods or services.
Washington — On Friday, Senator Tammy Baldwin will join a virtual community roundtable hosted by Lower Drug Prices Now to demand action from Congress to ensure that preventative vaccines and treatments for COVID will be safe and affordable for everyone. The coalition along with Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Oxfam, Main Street Alliance, the Alliance for Retired Americans, the AFL-CIO, Souls to the Polls, the American Medical Students Association, and other partners are calling for access to affordable COVID drugs, and an end to Big Pharma’s rampant profiteering off of the coronavirus pandemic.
A trio of watchdog groups are calling for the federal government to publicly release copies of the coronavirus vaccine development contracts signed with pharmaceutical companies that have received federal funding. American Oversight, Accountable Pharma, and Lower Drug Prices Now today filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requesting the release of the contracting records.
The requests ask for the release of written agreements between HHS and DOD and the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, BioNTech, GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi Pasteur, and Novavax. American Oversight and Lower Drug Prices Now have previously submitted six requests related to coronavirus vaccine development (May 6, June 11), only two of which have received responses — both of which were heavily redacted (Moderna, Johnson & Johnson).
Statement from Margarida Jorge, campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now, on the news that the White House released the text of the favored nation Executive Order:
“No one should be fooled by President Trump’s latest charade on drug prices. After three and a half years of endless empty rhetoric, Americans have seen their prescription drug prices go up, not down. This Executive Order is nothing more than another PR stunt intended to distract Americans from the President’s broken promises to seniors and the 200,000 Americans that have died from the coronavirus as a result of his failed COVID response policies. A serious proposal to lower drug prices and take away drug corporations’ monopoly power to charge whatever they want requires coordinated action from Congress–like the Medicare negotiations bill that President Trump rejected last year that included international price indexing. It’s clear that this President is more interested in photo ops than passing laws to take on Big Pharma.”
“It is simply remarkable and beyond dangerous that President Trump has so politicized the vaccine process to the point that drug corporations–the least trusted industry in America in America–are now the messengers on vaccine safety. It is the job of elected officials and government regulators, not corporations, to police safety for consumers. Yet, Donald Trump continues to prioritize his own narrow political goals over the needs of the American people, undermining public health and ignoring his responsibility as President.”