Eli Lilly CEO Optimistic Trump Policies Can Boost Pharma Operations, Jobs in U.S.

President Trump met with pharmaceutical industry CEOs Tuesday to discuss a host of topics from drug prices and U.S. manufacturing to the administration’s economic policies.  Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) CEO David A. Ricks discussed the outcome of the meeting.

“We felt pretty positive about the meeting because we were able to talk about a broad range of issues,” Ricks told the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney.

Ricks then addressed the debate over drug prices.

“You know, quite often the pharmaceutical industry gets into this pricing debate.  Our frame on that is really, this is about affordability for patients and we’d like to work with the White House and Congress to address that.”

According to Ricks, the president’s proposed policies could make it more conducive for companies such as Eli Lilly to expand operations in the U.S.

“But we also got to talk about industrial policy, and as you said manufacturing and jobs, and we think there are things in the president’s proposed policies that could help us expand operations domestically.”

Ricks applauded the president for his knowledge of the industry and the importance of U.S. companies in drug innovation.

“I was pleasantly surprised that the president had a good understanding of the importance of U.S. pharmaceutical innovation, that we have 70% of global R&D in our sectors here in the U.S.”

When asked if he gave the president any commitment to reducing drug prices or to investing in U.S. operations or jobs, Ricks responded, “No, Lilly didn’t do that.  But, what we did say is that with the right policy environment, in particular the corporate tax rate which today is an inhibitor for us to invest in manufacturing here in the United States, along with other pro-business policies could allow us to expand operations in the U.S.”