President Trump spoke to workers at a Whirlpool factory in Clyde, Ohio Thursday to tout his efforts to restore America’s manufacturing base. During the speech Trump also spoke about his working to reform prescription drug pricing by the pharmaceutical industry.
While speaking about reducing drug prices by cutting out the middlemen, Trump said he had made a lot of enemies, rich enemies, and that “This might be the last time you’ll see me for awhile.”
TRUMP: “So, I have a lot of enemies out there right now. This might be the last time you see me for awhile. A lot of very very rich enemies and they are not happy with what I am doing.” pic.twitter.com/Fvwko4Rac9
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) August 7, 2020
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“…So I have a lot of enemies out there. This may be the last time you’ll see me for a while. A lot of very, very rich enemies, but they are not happy with what I’m doing. But I figure we have one chance to do it, and no other President is going to do what I do. No other President would do a favored nations, a rebate, a buy from other nations at much less cost. Nobody. And there are a lot of unhappy people, and they’re very rich people, and they’re very unhappy,” the President said.
President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday directing some federal agencies to prioritize purchasing certain drugs and medical materials when made in the United States. The move will undoubtedly mark a shift in the way the US sources its drugs and medical supplies moving forward.
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro previewed the action earlier Thursday saying the US is “dangerously overdependent on foreign nations for our essential medicines, for medical supplies … and medical equipment like ventilators.” The order “establishes a base level of demand to attract a level of investment sufficient to provide for the needs we have for these things we need in times of trouble,” Navarro, a trade hawk, added.
China has been the dominating global player in the production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). And in the US, 90% of all prescriptions are filled by generic drugs and, one in every three pills consumed is produced by an Indian generics manufacturer, according to an April 2020 study by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and KPMG.
And speaking of pharmaceuticals, we instituted four moves — rebates, favored nations, and other things — buying from other nations where they have the product — the same exact pill, identical; made in the same factory — for a fraction — just a small fraction of the cost. We buy from other countries, as opposed to buying through this ridiculous quagmire of political scam that we’ve been going through for many years.
And what I’ve done, in terms of favored nations, if — as an example, Germany has a pill for 10 cents and we have a pill for $2. We institute favored nations on the drug company. We get the pill for the same amount as the lowest pill anywhere in the world. Anywhere in the world. (Applause.) And that could drop your price of pharmaceuticals, of drugs — prescription drugs — it could drop your price 50, 60, 70 percent, maybe more than that.
This is something — now, I have to tell you, I have never seen so many bad commercials about me as in the last three days since I did this. (Laughter.) So, will you remember that when you see this horrible commercial that I’m a “socialist” — I was called a “socialist” for the first time in my entire life. (Laughter.) Actually, what I am doing is I’m using socialist countries, who are buying our product for far less than we’re allowed to — I’m saying, “Well, if you’re going to sell it to this country…” — might be socialist — “…for a lower price, then we’re going to get that same price.” So, you know.
But I have been called everything in the book. And I say — I said, the other day, “Whenever you see a drug company advertising that Donald Trump is a bad guy, remember: Your drug prices must be coming down very big. Very big.” (Applause.) So please remember that.
Please remember that, because I don’t want to get all those negative votes, and then Biden wins, and they try — the first month, he’ll say, “I dropped drug prices 78 percent.” And he won’t even know what the hell he’s saying. (Laughter and applause.) I don’t want to be watching that from some beautiful resort someplace in the world. I could have — oh, I had had such a beautiful life before I did this. But that’s okay because we’re doing a great job and — (applause) — it makes me very happy to see people being properly representative — represented for a change.
But during the course of the next four years, we will bring our pharmaceutical and medical supply chains home. We’re going to bring them home where they belong. And we’ll end reliance on China, just like we did with the washers and dryers, just like we did with many other things. We’ll be making our product here safely, beautifully, and inexpensively.
Watch the entire speech:
President Trump concluded:
You have people called “middlemen.” I don’t know who the middlemen are. I don’t know. They never say “middlewomen,” so they’re politically not correct. (Laughter.) But I’ve heard the term “middlemen” for a long time. They are so wealthy. They are so wealthy. Nobody has any idea who the hell they are or what they do. They make more money than the drug companies. You know, in all fairness, at least the drug companies have to produce a product, and it has to be good product. But the middlemen — well, the rebate that I’m doing cuts out the middlemen, and it reduces costs, and the money goes back to the people purchasing the drugs.
So I have a lot of enemies out there. This may be the last time you’ll see me for a while. A lot of very, very rich enemies, but they are not happy with what I’m doing. But I figure we have one chance to do it, and no other President is going to do what I do. No other President would do a favored nations, a rebate, a buy from other nations at much less cost. Nobody. And there are a lot of unhappy people, and they’re very rich people, and they’re very unhappy.
Thursday’s executive order will also eliminate some regulatory barriers for manufacturing and pharmaceuticals in the US. Specifically, Navarro said the order would target manufacturing regulations imposed by the US Food & Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. Another component of the order will “catalyze advanced manufacturing in continuous manufacturing techniques,” Navarro said.
“Every time you see a negative Big Pharma commercial against me remember, it means your drug prices are coming way down!” Trump tweeted on Wednesday.