Given that President Trump is famous for his Earth-shaking tweets, it seems appropriate to comb through Twitter reactions to his administration’s new drug pricing plan, which was unveiled Friday.
Many experts, analysts, and journalists noted the lack of detail in the proposals and the disconnect between Trump’s harsh words against drug makers and pharmacy benefit managers versus how the plan could actually affect industry players. They also pointed out that this plan is just that — any actual changes would need future regulatory moves or congressional action.
Watching the speech now, but on first glance some of the "immediate actions" in the admin's drug pricing proposals are… not immediate. And the "further opportunities" even less so. It's not going to take effect "very soon," as POTUS just said. https://t.co/cY3GBI1qiS
— Rachel Sachs (@RESachs) May 11, 2018
"The drug lobby is making an absolute fortune at the expense of American consumers." Very few of the proposals in the admin's blueprint would materially harm industry.
— Rachel Sachs (@RESachs) May 11, 2018
If you are somehow able to follow through on getting Europe to pay more, this is what happens.
First, US prices stay the same. Next, more drugs come to market because of higher profits. So then, US spending on drugs increases.
— Craig Garthwaite (@C_Garthwaite) May 11, 2018
I see HHS 'may support' some interesting efforts, like updating methods for star ratings to let plans deal more aggressively with high cost drugs, competitive acquisition in part B, indication based pricing. But all tentative, nothing concrete.
— Walid Gellad (@walidgellad) May 11, 2018
They're slamming the PBMs but making them an even bigger, more powerful part of Part D, and giving them a slice of Part B. This is not that bad for them (certainly against expectations). https://t.co/HiYYMhZ1cZ
— Drew Armstrong (@ArmstrongDrew) May 11, 2018
There are quite a few proposals/ideas in Trump's Rx plan, but it is striking how few are actual concrete actions the administration says it will definitely take.
— Noam Levey (@NoamLevey) May 11, 2018
One proposal that caught people’s attention was the idea of requiring drug companies to disclose prices in their advertisements, though there were questions about that as well:
"Call on the FDA to evaluate the inclusion of list prices in DTC advertising" seems the only new thing…
Will it actually have any impact? pic.twitter.com/303uluWz2f
— Andy Biotech (@AndyBiotech) May 11, 2018
I mostly think this is intriguing because compelled speech isn't something I would have predicted in a suite of drug pricing proposals from a Republican administration. https://t.co/O7FLxu83lJ
— Adrianna McIntyre (@onceuponA) May 11, 2018
And then there were the usual partisan reactions. Ahead of the speech, Democrats were already pouncing on the Republican plans as weak and industry-friendly, while including digs at the tax plan approved by Congress and signed by Trump:
The drug companies are getting everything they want under unified Republican control. That means higher prices for you, higher stock value for them.
— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) May 11, 2018
Candidate Trump pledged to take on drug companies to help lower prescription drug prices, but President Trump hasn’t done that. Instead he used the #GOPTaxScam to line CEOs pockets while prices continue to rise. That's NOT #ABetterDeal. https://t.co/fXalXutIvH
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 10, 2018
Republicans, meanwhile, credited the administration for a thoughtful yet evenhanded plan:
From @SenAlexander's statement on Trump Rx plan: “The President’s plan is sweeping, comprehensive and sophisticated."
— julie rovner (@jrovner) May 11, 2018
.@POTUS has put out a serious plan to help lower prescription drug prices. It represents a good balance between promoting innovation and using government authority given to @HHS @US_FDA @CMSGov. More about plan here: https://t.co/p6VDoDC5pE
— Lanhee J. Chen (@lanheechen) May 11, 2018
And then there was the spin campaign, with each sector of the greater pharmaceutical industry casting blame on the others. Back to business as usual:
And here come the statements from every health care company extolling one part of Trump's drug price speech and pointing blame elsewhere.
— Bob Herman (@bobjherman) May 11, 2018