Donald Trump to Propose Biggest Drug Reform In All of History Tomorrow


For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

If you’ve been waiting on the edge of your seat for Donald Trump’s thoughts on how to reduce prescription drug prices, your wait is finally over:

President Trump will deliver Friday afternoon a twice-delayed, much-anticipated speech about his plan to lower drug prices — after a year when harsh rhetoric against drugmakers was accompanied by little action….“What I’m hearing is that they’re looking at a clean slate and going after everybody: the drug companies, the pharmacy benefit managers, everyone,” said one health care lobbyist, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak frankly.

Hahaha. Of course he’s going after everybody. Trump is a man of the people, after all. And of course your source needs anonymity to offer up a pearl of praise like this to the great man.

So in reality, what can we expect? I quail to even think about it. And more to the point, how likely is it that his strategy to get it through Congress will consist of more than a few tweets? Zero?

If I had to guess, I’d say that Trump might propose some modest reforms aimed at reining in massive price increases for orphan drugs. It would be popular, and his FDA chief supports it. He might also propose some new rules prohibiting drug companies from trying to keep generic competitors off the market. This is about the most I’d expect. Beyond that, I imagine it will be predominantly corporate-friendly stuff—and if congressional Republicans even bother spending any time on this, that’s probably all that will remain by the time they’re finished with it.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend