By Helene Fung
US President Donald Trump signed four executive orders to lower the prices Americans need to pay for prescription drugs, as COVID-19 case counts continue to rise.
The orders are:
- Allow legal importation of prescription drugs from overseas;
- Require middlemen currently benefitting from drug companies’ discounts to pass on savings to patients;
- Reduce the price of insulin; and
- Require US Medicare (the US national insurance program) to purchase drugs at the same price that other countries pay.
“We are putting patients over lobbyists, senior citizens before special interests, and we’re putting America first,” said Mr Trump as he signed the orders.
Mr Trump also said that meetings with pharmaceutical company executives and a new health care bill are in the works.
Mr Trump has received criticism over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and face the prospect of lower voters turnout at the November presidential elections (voting is non-compulsory in the US). He had also previously asked the US Congress to control drug costs.