Prescription drug deal collapsed over “Trump Cards”.

Two links in case NYT is paywalled. There are several issues here, but they all spell last minute panic as the election nears.

Trump has been promising healthcare reform, including drug price relief since throwing his hat (or is it hair piece?) in the ring. So now, a month out from the election he is doing the old “chicken in every pot” promise. Understandable.  Golf, rallies and tweets just take too much time. Until now, of course. 
Interestingly enough, a core piece of his executive orders regarding drug prices is the matching of Medicare prescription costs to other nations’ government mandated prices, which are much lower than what we pay. 

So it is OK for government to set prices so long as another nation sets them first. Socialism?

Of course that was a sticking point with Big Pharma. However, not as much as the demand by the regime for Pharma to mail out one time $100 cash cards to all seniors just before the election. 

Here is a “deal” in the works for months, if not longer, in which at least seniors could get some relief on drug prices. And the great negotiator tanks it with a last second demand. 

I suppose Big Pharma is part of the “Deep State” in its effort to make Trump look bad (or is it worse?). 

21 thoughts on “Prescription drug deal collapsed over “Trump Cards”.

    1. He has done this before. Goodyear did not want political campaigning at their plant which obviously disallowed MAGA hats and paraphernalia so Trump exhorted his 80 million to boycott their tires. He has badmouthed GM, Harley-Davidson, Amazon, and others. Pillows and beans are fine, however.

      What president tried actively and with malice to extort compliance from American companies? This is not a trick question, folks.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Or reparations for past overcharges.

      That said, I am opposed to price fixing.

      Better to reduce the FDA’s influence. Right now, the FDA rules on safety, efficacy and appropriateness of use. It costs easily a billion dollars and takes a decade to get a drug to market. And even with generic drugs out for decades, the FDA licenses manufacturers, artificially limiting supply.

      We would do better to let product liability companies determine safety (as with Underwriters Laboratory) and leave efficacy and use to physicians, guided by their professional associations.

      Do that and the marketplace will bring drug prices down.

      Government involvement would be better limited to orphan drugs.


      1. Yeah, we know your opinion of the FDA. If enough people are killed, injured or swindled by drugs that are not safe and effective the market will punish the seller. Eventually. The trick is, don’t be the “loser” or “sucker” who gets killed, injured or swindled before the market wakes up.

        Kind of misses the point though. And that was that here is yet another example of egregious corruption by the President you support. And that his self-serving hustle apparently lead to the breakdown of needed reform. Imagine if President Obama ever did something like that. If that were so, for sure you would not be changing the subject. IMHO.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Free phones? You lost me there?

            I am not sure who you are “agreeing” with. It appears Trump was for setting drug prices so long as he got a political gift from the industry. So you are not agreeing with him. I doubt that you are agreeing with Len who I think was more interested in pointing out another bit of Trump corruption and would not – like me – have the runaway price gouging on drugs reined in.

            Not changing the subject? Okay. So, what DO you think of a President who puts such a personal political “gimme” on the table as part of an important negotiation?

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Don, we don’t have landlines anymore. Since the advent of the cell phone and its evolution into smart phones the land line is immaterial.

            If unemployed people want jobs, they need cell phones. I know that for a fact.

            In the early nineties, we helped a woman and 3 kids financially. Her husband abandoned her after they move from New England to Norfolk. She had a broken car, no phone and was about to be tossed on the street.

            She would use my business line to make appointments for interviews. Then when they called back, I had to answer, give an excuse, then drive to get her the message.

            Eventually, we paid the arrears and rent. She finally moved back to NE, got a good job with a bank and problem resolved.

            I think the “Obamaphone” is pretty well worn out anyway. It is now Trumphones. That goes along with Trumpcare and Trump pandemic. I would say Trump fires and hurricanes, but that would be unfair.

            Liked by 2 people

          3. “Not the same at all.”

            Uh, with all due respect that is ridiculous. The Reagan administration recognized that a way to communicate is essential for everyone caring for a family and/or seeking employment. The program he started continued into more recent times where the technology of communication has changed but the need to communicate has not. “Obamaphones” was always a dishonest race-baiting meme right up there with “Bucks buying steaks with food stamps”, “Welfare Queens” and “Willy Horton.” And we both know that.

            And, I am still lost. What has “free phones” got to do with Trump trying to extort favors from the pharmaceutical industry?

            Liked by 1 person

  1. “Trump has been promising healthcare reform”…

    Infrastructure, too.

    One of the issues with filling Ginsburg’s SCOTUS seat is the pending lawsuit, backed by the Administration, to do away with the ACA. Yet at his ABC town hall, he blatantly lied to the questioner when he said he supported protecting pre-existing conditions. Which the suit will do away with.

    How many infrastructure weeks have their been since Jan 2017? How many promises of bigger better health care…coming soon to a Congress near you… have there been? How many times will the con artist get away with blatant lies to the American people? Things like down playing the virus to avoid a panic while campaigning on the idea of panic if Biden gets elected.

    It is pictures of YOUR America (not to mention Russian jets), Mr. Trump, that you use in your ads to say this is what Joe Biden’s America will look like. Sorry ,but it already looks that way, and YOU are the President.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. RE: “Here is a “deal” in the works for months, if not longer, in which at least seniors could get some relief on drug prices. And the great negotiator tanks it with a last second demand.”

    There is far more to this story than your source indicates. The administration published its plan to lower drug prices two years ago:

    Since then the administration has been negotiating with drug companies and other stakeholders to implement parts of the plan.

    The so-called “Trump cards” apparently relate to an aspect of drug pricing that really does need reform. The plan describes the problem this way:

    “Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and benefits consultants help buyers (insurers, large employers) seek rebates intended to lower net drug prices, and help sellers (drug manufacturers) pay rebates to secure placement on health plan formularies. Most current PBM contracts may allow them to retain a percentage of the rebate collected and other administrative or service fees. Do PBM rebates and fees based on the percentage of the list price create an incentive to favor higher list prices (and the potential for higher rebates) rather than lower prices?”

    Notice the structure of the problem. Drug prices are higher because the party that pays the increase doesn’t have a seat at the table. Patients literally have no contract with the providers by which their interests can be represented. Thus the rebates that already exist within the network of contractual relationships get sucked up by the parties that set the prices patients ultimately pay.

    The “Trump cards” wouldn’t have solved the problem of the incestuous insider marketplace that creates drug pricing, but they would have symbolized the necessity of fundamental reform. No wonder the drug companies objected: Their business model depends on the Blue Cross/Blue Shield approach to health care financing, that approach being the one that eliminates patients as contractual participants in their own well-being.

    This story is just another example of how insurance screws up everything in medicine.


    1. “…but they would have symbolized the necessity of fundamental reform…”

      Do you really think that the designated recipients of the $100 cash even heard about, much less understood, the complex gouging by Big Pharma?

      That is is not a matter of ignorance, BTW. It is a matter of priorities among the electorate.
      So this $100 arriving just before the election was simply a bribe for votes. Or an illegal campaign contribution, for that matter.

      This was a sudden change to see if they could extort a campaign gimmick from the drug companies and their distributors.

      Trump brags about his deal making prowess and he is known for making last second changes just before a deal is struck. The ploy is simple: if a deal is imminent, especially after long and tough negotiations the gambit is playing on the opposition to “just wanting a deal”.

      He did the same on the wall and Dreamer’s in 2018. A bipartisan plan to fully fund the wall for $20+ billion in return for Dreamer protection and most other wants for immigration. Trump boasted “I’ll take the heat”.

      Well we know he reneged in the last minute. So no wall money, no Dreamer protection and no immigration reforms at all.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Bribe for votes? Oh my god, your party has that down to a science that no one else can compete with. Problem is your party does not have a clue on how to pay for all the goodies beyond make the rich pay for it. What a short sighted crock on the road to socialist bliss culminating in everyone being poor.


          1. “Murphy
            And by the way, you’re a sick individual. I’m sure females everywhere admire you.”

            Personal attacks have been very limited in the last months, and we would like to keep it that way.

            This is not my blog, so I will defer to Don, but since neither he nor Roberts are calling out an obvious, crass ad hominem attack, I will.

            It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable.

            I am sure you agree.

            Thank you.

            Liked by 1 person

        1. At least its a plan. The GOP only wants to ensure women don’t have the right to choose what to do with their bodies, minorities not be allowed to vote, and only those who can afford it can have health care coverage.

          Social democracy works. Your nightmare claims of socialism are what is a crock.


    2. RE: “Do you really think that the designated recipients of the $100 cash even heard about, much less understood, the complex gouging by Big Pharma?”

      It doesn’t matter what the recipients might have understood. My point is that the drug companies understood.

      RE: “So this $100 arriving just before the election was simply a bribe for votes. Or an illegal campaign contribution, for that matter.”

      You don’t know that. The assertion is pure mind reading or guesswork.

      On its face, extending pre-existing rebates to patients is a logical solution to the problem the administration’s plan describes.


      1. “The assertion is pure mind reading or guesswork.”

        It’s not mind reading when the writing has been on the wall for four years.

        Once again, mind reading accusations when you cannot defend the reality, the REAL reality, of any given situation. You really need a new schtick.

        And until the administration withdraws its support from the lawsuit pending before SCOTUS, coverage for pre-existing conditions are still in jeopardy.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. So this problem with drug pricing is new?

        Trump has had a healthcare plan ready to in two weeks for 5 years now.

        Sending $100 to seniors, a constituency he is losing now, is a campaign ploy. Big Pharma, no friend of Americans, told the regime to pack sand.

        Liked by 2 people

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