Trump: Cost of prescription drugs went down for first time in 51 years
President Trump says Congress can dramatically reduce drug prices by working together.
President Trump is campaigning for re-election in 2020 by saying he has made great progress in reducing drug prices.
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But the issue has been a source of frustration for him recently, according to people familiar with the matter, as polling shows a majority of Americans disapprove of his handling of the issue and Democratic challengers for the White House focus on how his initiatives have stalled.
Key parts of the president’s plan to combat prescription costs have been blocked by courts, dropped by the administration or delayed. Meanwhile, drug companies this year have raised prices for hundreds of medications.
Fifty-four percent of Americans disapprove of Mr. Trump’s handling of the costs of prescription drugs, according to a January poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
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The lack of a major success is needling Mr. Trump, who has become frustrated without a signature accomplishment on drug pricing, according to people familiar with the matter. He has taken to task Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical executive tasked with driving down drug prices, one of these people said.
Democratic rivals vying for their party’s nomination have also targeted Mr. Trump on the issue. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently ran an ad saying “Trump did nothing” on prescription costs. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, at a rally this month in Denver, said beating Mr. Trump would amount to taking on the pharmaceutical industry, suggesting the president hadn’t done so. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar has repeatedly said Mr. Trump broke his promise to bring down drug prices.
Mr. Trump has publicly characterized his work on lowering drug costs as an achievement while blaming Democrats for blocking more progress. In his State of the Union speech this month, he said that the cost of prescription drugs went down.