US President Donald Trump has promised to bring the cost of prescription drugs way down and let other countries pay more for these medicines in a new policy that could have implications for India. He told his Cabinet members at a meeting at the White House yesterday that the prices of prescription drugs in the US have gone through the roof. “If you look at the same drug by the same exact company made in the same exact box and sold some place else sometimes it’s a fraction of what we pay in this country,” he said. Trump did not mention any country, but his policy on prescription drugs, which was discussed during his Cabinet meeting could have implications for India. This is because for instance, early this year India’s National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPAA) fixed the price of drug eluting stents at $450 and bare metal stents at $110.
NPAA has said that it intends to take similar measures for other costly medical devices. “The world as usual has taken advantage of the United States. They are setting prices in other countries and we are not. The drug companies frankly are getting away with murder,” Trump said in his opening remarks. “We want to bring prices down to whatever the other countries are paying or at least close to that,” he said.
“They (other countries) are setting such low prices that we’re actually subsidising other countries. And that’s just not going to happen anymore,” Trump said.
“This has been going on for years where our people are paying so much more. I don’t mean they are paying two per cent more. They are paying double, triple, quadruple. They are paying so much more that it is very unfair to the United States as usual,” Trump said.