The White House botched a deal to lower prescription prices because drug companies wouldn't budge on its request to pay for $100 gift cards that would've been mailed to seniors before the election
Trump administrationbotched a deal with drug companies to lower the price of prescription medications because it wanted the industry to pay for $100 gift cards that would have been sent to seniors before the November elections, The New York Times reported on Friday.
- The proposed $150 billion deal would have addressed out-of-pocket consumer costs and covered the majority of the Medicare copayments that seniors pay for
- In a statement to Business Insider, a White House spokesperson said negotiations with the pharmaceutical industry "did not produce an acceptable alternative," and suggested President Donald
Trumpwould pursue executive action on drug prices.
President Donald Trump's administration almost reached a deal with drug companies that would have lowered drug prices, but it fell apart when the White House asked drug companies to pay for $100 gift cards that would have been mailed to seniors before the November election, The New York Times reported on Friday.
The proposed $150 billion deal would have addressed out-of-pocket consumer costs and covered the majority of the Medicare copayments that seniors pay for prescription
The matter of those $100 gift cards the Trump administration requested gave some drug company executives a reason to pause, The Times reported.
"We could not agree to the administration's plan to issue one-time savings cards right before a presidential election," Priscilla VanderVeer, the vice-president of public affairs at PhRMA, the industry's largest trade group told the Times. "One-time savings cards will neither provide lasting help nor advance the fundamental reforms necessary to help seniors better afford their medicines."
The proposal to send out the gift cards comes as Trump loses support among seniors. Citizens aged 65 and older will represent 23% of registered voters in the upcoming election. NBC News reported in June that voters over 65 helped Trump win the 2016 election, but his support among the demographic is shrinking.
Several polls have shown democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden enjoys more support from that demographic than Trump.
On Sunday, Trump signed an executive order that he said would lower prescription drug prices, but experts said it was not likely to do much, NPR reported.
Trump introduced another executive order on the same issue, two months prior that was held back so he could negotiate a better deal with drug companies.
"If these talks are successful, we may not need to implement the fourth executive order, which is a very tough order for them," Trump said at the time.
In a statement to Business Insider on Friday, a White House spokesperson said negotiations with the pharmaceutical industry "did not produce an acceptable alternative," and suggested Trump would pursue executive action on drug prices.
According to The Times' report, the White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told drug company officials that if they couldn't agree on a deal, he would tell the
Industry officials told the Times that despite not every company being happy about lowering costs, they agreed to that part of the deal until the idea of $100 gift cards was brought forward.
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