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Welch, Cummings to Trump: Draft Executive Order Betrays Working Americans Reeling from Exorbitant Drug Price Increases

June 22, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC – Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) sent a letter to President Trump in reaction to press reports that he will soon sign an executive order favorable to the agenda of the pharmaceutical industry that will provide no relief to Americans reeling from exorbitant drug price increases.

“Before you were sworn in as President, you railed against the pharmaceutical industry’s abuses, accusing them of ‘getting away with murder,’” Cummings and Welch wrote.  Yet, “recent press reports indicate that you are poised to issue an executive order that would implement administrative actions culled directly from the pharmaceutical industry’s wish list.  This would be a betrayal of the very people who supported you and rely on you to make good on your promises.”

The letter follows a March 8 Oval Office meeting with President Trump at which he pledged to Welch and Cummings his strong support for mandating the federal government negotiate lower Medicare drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.  He committed to a quick review of legislation drafted by Welch and Cummings that would authorize prescription drug price negotiation.

At the meeting, Welch handed the President a March 3 Burlington Free Press story on the plight of one Vermont family who had been paying just $500 annually for a corticosteroid to treat their son’s muscular dystrophy.  The family was shocked to learn that the price had soared overnight to $89,000 annually.

Welch and Cummings will soon introduce their price negotiation bill in the House.

Click here to read their letter to President Trump.

Rep. Welch is a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and a member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  Rep. Cummings is the top Democrat on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.