Udayavni Special

Big pharma ran millions of dollars of negative ad against me US-during election campaign, says Trump

PTI, Nov 21, 2020, 10:24 AM IST


Washington: US President Donald Trump on Friday alleged that big pharma companies ran millions of dollars of negative advertisement against him during the just concluded presidential elections.

American media has declared Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as the winner of the November 3 elections, which Trump has refused to concede. Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election on November 7 after flipping Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin to the Democrats’ column.

“Big pharma ran millions of dollars of negative advertisements against me during the campaign which I won by the way but you know we will find that out, almost 74 million votes,” Trump told reporters at the White House, making his first appearance in days.

President-elect Biden has secured 306 electoral votes as compared to Trump’s 232 votes. To win the race to the White House, the successful candidate should have at least 270 electoral votes out of the 538-member Electoral College.

Trump has refused to concede the November 3 US election results and has filed multiple lawsuits challenging poll results in several states.

“We had big pharma against us, we had the media against us, we had big tech against us. We had a lot of dishonesty against us, but big pharma companies alone ran millions and millions of dollars in ads, in fact, I looked at it I said who is it fair the–I have never seen anything quite like it because I told them I am going to have to do this,” the US President told reporters at the White House wherein he also announced the rules to lower the price of prescription drugs for American people.

He, however, did not take any questions.

“The unprecedented reforms we are completing today are the direct result of the historic drug pricing executive orders I signed in July. Statutorily we had to go through a very long process and we got it done. I was very proud to have got this done. We were pushing it very hard as we did with the vaccines and other things,” Trump asserted.

The first action will save American seniors billions of dollars by preventing middlemen from ripping off Medicare patients with high prescription prices. Currently, drug companies provide large discounts on the price of prescription medicines, including nearly USD 40 billion in rebates to Medicare part D plans… often the middlemen stop those discounts from going to patients, he noted.

“So, patients are going to be now getting the benefits… Patients pay very high prices and although we brought it down the first time in 51 years with the cost adding up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year per patient. Two days action ends this injustice and requires that these discounts go directly to people,” the president said.

“This will save patients up to 30, 40 or 50 per cent, could be much higher than that. These are numbers that nobody has ever even contemplated and that does not include life-saving drugs like insulin which will be even higher,” he added.

In a statement, PhRMA president and CEO Stephen J Ubl opposed such a move by the White House.

“It defies logic that the administration is blindly proceeding with a ‘most favoured nation’ policy that gives foreign governments the upper hand in deciding the value of medicines in the United States. History proves that when governments take unilateral action to set prices, it disrupts patient access to treatments, discourages investment in new medicines and threatens jobs and economic growth,” he said..

Ubi said PhRMA is considering all options to stop this unlawful onslaught on medical progress and maintain their ability to win the fight against COVID-19.

“As part of the 2020 election, Americans made it clear: Policymakers must address COVID-19 and concerns around pre-existing conditions and out-of-pocket costs,” he said.

Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Chairman of the House Ways & Means Health Subcommittee, said the announcement offers little more relief from soaring prescription prices than Trump’s September announcement of USD 200 drug cards, which he never delivered.

“By delaying, until the end of his presidency, taking action he could have undertaken at the beginning, Trump offers an invitation to legal challenges-not a guarantee of relief from price gouging. And the most important order remains missing: lower prices for drugs developed with taxpayer dollars, including COVID-19 treatments and vaccines,” he said.

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