Pharma execs, upset by Trump’s drug pricing executive orders, refuse White House meeting

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President Donald Trump seems to have hit a nerve with his Friday executive orders on drug pricing. As drug companies work to battle the pandemic, executives declined to attend a White House meeting today on drug prices, according to media reports. 

When he touted the executive orders Friday, the president said Tuesday’s meeting would facilitate talks with pharmaceutical executives on an issue important to many Americans. But the major industry trade groups declined to send representatives, Politico said. Industry representatives weren’t sure it would have been a “productive meeting,” a source told The Hill.

At issue is the president’s order linking drug prices in Medicare to lower prices abroad, which the industry argues will import socialist price controls into America’s healthcare system. Trump on Friday gave the industry a month to propose an alternative, but a spokeswoman for industry trade group PhRMA told Fierce Pharma the industry’s “sole focus is figuring out a way to beat COVID-19.”