This article was co-authored by Fifa Rahman and PFAM coordinator Fran Quigley and was originally published in the Health and Human Rights Journal on February 18, 2018. To read the full article at its original source, and with references hyperlinked, click here.
In his 2018 State of the Union address US President Donald Trump issued yet another vow to address his country’s crisis in prescription drug pricing, where fast-climbing costs are causing one in four Americans to struggle to pay for their prescribed medicines. “One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs,” said Trump. “That is why I have directed my administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities. Prices will come down.”
But previous Trump promises have proved to be empty. Some very limited drug pricing reforms proposed in Trump’s 2018 budget have been overshadowed by his failure to deliver meaningful changes. Worse, his administration’s health policy leadership has been captured by the pharmaceutical industry, as evidenced most recently by the appointment of former Eli Lilly executive Alex Azar to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. The pharma fox is now guarding a henhouse filled with Americans who can’t afford their medicines.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Trump’s promises can be more than bluster, and the South East Asian country of Malaysia has proved it...