A White House meeting with top pharmaceutical executives that President Donald Trump promised for Tuesday is off, five industry sources familiar with discussions told POLITICO. Three said the drug-pricing discussion was canceled because the major drug lobbies, reeling from Friday’s cluster of executive orders on the topic, refused to send any members.
Drugmakers and Trump were slated to discuss an executive order, signed Friday but not yet released, that would order health officials to release a plan linking Medicare payments for certain medicines to lower costs paid abroad. The provision, known as a most-favored-nations rule, has been lambasted by the drug industry and some patient groups that say it would curb innovation and reduce drug access.
Trump said Friday that drugmakers would have a month to present a better option to the rule.
The drug lobbies PhRMA and BIO were reluctant to send representatives from their member companies — many of them multibillion-dollar manufacturers of the world’s best-selling medicines and vaccines — after conflicting reports last week about whether the White House would include the rule and little information to date about what the new rule would look like, three people familiar with the discussions said.