- Top pharmaceutical executives refused to attend a White House meeting with President Trump on Tuesday
- Execs mad to executive order Trump signed last week on drug prices
- Order requires companies to match lowest drug prices in other countries
- Trump gave Big Pharma a month to pitch him an alternative
- Trump signed four executive orders at White House ceremony on Friday
- They will allow import of cheaper medicine and other limited steps
- Insulin and EpiPens will be available at steep discounts for low-income people
- Congress has been unable to reach a deal to lower the cost of medicine
Top pharmaceutical executives snubbed President Donald Trump and refused to attend a meeting at the White House on Tuesday to discuss prices for prescription drugs.
The sit-down was to discuss an executive order Trump signed last week on drug prices - an order that has yet to be released - but would require Big Pharma to match the lowest drug prices offered in other countries.
But the executives canceled because they refused to send any representatives to meet with the president, Politico reported. Trump's public schedule has no meetings on it for Tuesday but not all the president's activities are listed on that document.
The executive order would require health companies to follow a provision on drug pricing known as the most-favored-nations rule. The rule requires Medicare to tie the prices it pays for drugs to those paid by other countries. Specifically, it would only pay a price for a drug that matches the lowest price paid among foreign governments
But drug companies and some patient groups criticized the rule, saying it would reduce innovation and access to certain medications.
When he signed the order, Trump said drug companies would have a month to present him with a better option.
At the White House ceremony last Friday, Trump signed four executive orders. One was about importation. The others would direct drugmaker rebates straight to patients, provide insulin and EpiPens at steep discounts to low-income people, and use lower international prices to pay for some Medicare drugs.
'Nothing like this has ever been done before because Big Pharma, with its vast power, would not let it happen. Expensive Insulin went from big dollars to virtual pennies,' Trump bragged on Twitter on Saturday after he signed the order.
'Epi-pens went from their incredibly high, jacked up prices, to lower than their original give away bargains. Biggest price reductions in history, by far!'
Trump cast his directives as far-reaching, but they mostly update earlier administration ideas that have not yet gone into effect.
'I'm unrigging the system that is many decades old,' he declared at Friday's ceremony, promising 'massive' savings.