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President Trump doubled down on his campaign promise to lower prescription drug prices for American citizens, but Americans are skeptical to buy into his promises, especially considering how entrenched our lawmakers are with Big Pharma lobbyists. Ring of Fire's Mike Papantonio and Farron Cousins discuss this.
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President Trump doubled down on his campaign promise to lower prescription drug prices for American citizens. But Americans are skeptical to buy his promise, especially considering how entrenched, absolutely entrenched, our lawmakers are with big pharma money. Big pharma passes around so much money, Farron, that ... I mean, it's startling, the amount of money. So what ends up happening is finally somebody in The White House says "Oh my god. Look at the markup that pharma is doing here. A pill that costs 50 cents in Europe costs $50 in America." We've known that for ages. You and I have done stories on this over the ... What are some of the markups? I mean, these markups are amazing. I look at Celebrex, 100-milligram Celebrex is a 21,000% markup. Right? Take it from there. I mean-
You got Lipitor, highly popular medication in the United States, markup, 4,696%. Paxil, markup, 2,898. Prilosec, which so many Americans are on every single day, the markup on that one, 69,417%-
Which might kill you in the end because it's a PPI, and now we're finding out PPI is causing a whole host of physical injuries. Okay, so Trump comes out, of all people, and says "You know, we're going to do something about this." At this point, what you have is you have five states ... Under his plan, you'll have five states that are allowed to go to Medicaid and say to Medicaid, "You're charging too much money," and that makes the market hopefully respond. We should see some activity there, shouldn't we? If that really happens, if it really happens.
Well, yeah, we should. To be honest, I have very ... I don't even know that I've ever said a kind word about Donald Trump-
I've never heard you say a kind word.
... but I will say if anybody can do this, it might be a guy like him. I don't want people to think I'm suddenly on the Trump train here but if you think about it, Donald Trump isn't the kind of guy who has spent enough time there to be completely corrupted, as both Republicans and Democrats are, by big pharma money. So it might be possible.
And he may be so naïve that he doesn't understand that he can't do anything about big pharma making a 70 ... Prilosec, 69,000% markup on Prilosec. $69,000 ... I mean 69,000%. It may be he's looking at this, he saying "I can get something done," maybe he's so naïve that where he doesn't understand that big pharma owns and operates Washington DC.
Well, see, and that's part of the issue here too though is that ... Trump has said this several times. This is not the first we've heard of this. He does understand also that his approval ratings are bad. 42%, it just hit this all-time high of 42%-
It's like that's a big deal, he's 40 [crosstalk 00:03:03]-
Right, and we know that he is obsessed with these poll numbers. He wants people to love him.
This could be a way. I know it's to serve-
... his own ego, but if it still helps the American public by not-
... making us pay a 70% markup-
The only thing that solves this problem ... You remember the pharma bro? Okay. Pharma bro gets sentenced to prison for ... I forgot what. Was it seven-
Seven. Seven years.
... okay. People think he was sentenced to prison for marking up that AIDS Drug like a gazillion percent. No, he was sentenced to prison because he tried to steal money from rich people in a Ponzi scheme. So really, it comes right down to it, it's going to take a lot to really move this ball. Endo ... Look, this is a great example. $270 million to resolve an antitrust case ... This is amazing. People don't realize that, but you have companies like Endo that ... You have these drug companies that ... what they do is they pay generic drug makers to delay the release of cheaper medication. This has been going on for decades now, but the fines aren't working. If we want this practice to end, we're going have to have stricter punishment. Give us an example of how this goes.