President Trump touted his administration’s role in lowering prescription drug costs for U.S. consumers on Tuesday, arguing that his plan to allow Florida and other states to import drugs from Canada could push prices even lower.
“Drug prices have declined in our country for the first time in more than 50 years,” Trump said at a rally for supporters in Sunrise, Florida. “We’re working closely with your governor to bring drug prices down even more in Florida and other states if they want it – and they all will want it.”
Florida's Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., first released a plan in August that said importing drugs from Canada would "yield significant cost savings of over $150 million dollars annually."
Since 2016, the Trump administration has sought to lower the list prices and out-of-pocket costs associated with prescription drugs. Trump has personally criticized companies that enacted price hikes.
Trump tweeted last Friday that he and U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar would soon release a plan that would allow Florida and other states to import prescription drugs from other countries, including Canada. The president said the proposal, details of which have yet to surface, would lead to lower prices for Americans.
“We’re allowing your state to buy the identical drug, oftentimes made in the same factory, from other countries where the prices are 50, 60 and 70 percent lower. Can you imagine this?” Trump added. “That’s because our system is all so screwed. So I say, go to Canada to buy them and it will change. Watch what happens, watch what happens with the drugs.”
Trump previously discussed plans to announce an executive order allowing states to buy prescription drugs abroad during a speech at the Economic Club of New York.
The president also publicly criticized a proposal from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Her plan seeks to lower the cost of prescription drugs by allowing Medicare to negotiate on prices for as many as 250 expensive medications, such as insulin. It would also limit out-of-pocket medication payments for seniors to $2,000 per year.
Trump tweeted that Pelosi’s plan “doesn’t do the trick” and would provide “fewer cures” and “fewer treatments” for Americans.