White House Task Force Echoes Pharma Proposals
Senior administrative officials met Friday to discuss an executive order on the cost of pharmaceuticals, a roundtable informed by Trump’s "Drug Pricing and Innovation Working Group."
This article first appeared June 16, 2017 on Kaiser Health News.
By Emily Kopp
President Donald Trump repeatedly talks tough about reining in the pharmaceutical industry, but his administration’s efforts to lower drug prices are shrouded in secrecy.
Senior administrative officials met Friday to discuss an executive order on the cost of pharmaceuticals, a roundtable informed by Trump’s “Drug Pricing and Innovation Working Group.” Kaiser Health News examined documents that shed light on the workings of this working group.
The documents reveal behind-the-scenes discussions influenced by the pharmaceutical industry. Joe Grogan, associate director of health programs for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has led the group. Until March, Grogan served as a lobbyist for Gilead Sciences, the pharmaceutical company that priced its hepatitis C drugs at $1,000 per pill.
To solve the crisis of high drug prices, the group discussed strengthening the monopoly rights of pharmaceuticals overseas, ending discounts for low-income hospitals and accelerating drug approvals by the Food and Drug Administration. The White House declined to comment on the working group.
The group initially met May 4 in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and has since met every two weeks. In addition to OMB, the working group includes officials from the White House National Economic Council, Domestic Policy Council, Health and Human Services, the FDA, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Commerce, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of Justice.