Trump summons top officials after drug prices rise

President Trump summoned top officials for a meeting at the White House on Jan. 8, Politico reported. The meeting comes as major drugmakers raised prices at the start of the year, prompting a Twitter response from the president.

Officials attending the meeting included HHS Secretary Alex Azar, Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Kevin Hassett and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, according to Politico.

The meeting also comes as a new report revealed the rising costs of prescription drugs are due to price increases by manufacturers rather than new, expensive therapies or improvements to medications already in existence.

Lowering prescription drug prices has been a focus for the Trump administration, but so far, policy proposals have taken aim at Medicare Part B and forced drugmakers to publish some prices online.

Beyond proposals, the president also lashed out at pharmaceutical companies directly via Twitter in 2018. Those actions prompted temporary halts to planned drug price hikes at Pfizer and Novartis. However, these steps were only temporary, as Pfizer announced it would raise prices of at least 41 drugs in 2019.

Drug prices rose on more than 250 medicines by 6.3 percent on average on Jan. 1, Politico reported, citing information from Rx Savings Solutions.

“Drug makers and companies are not living up to their commitments on pricing. Not being fair to the consumer, or to our Country!” Trump tweeted on Jan. 5.

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