Big Pharma

The Trump administration has announced four executive orders to lower drug prices, but health policy experts say they will likely offer patients only minimal relief and may take months to implement, if they're implemented at all.

The orders signed Friday afternoon included allowing certain drugs to be imported from Canada and making changes to the way discounts negotiated by middlemen called pharmacy benefit managers are passed on to Medicare patients.

Sentencing is scheduled to begin on Monday in the criminal trial of top executives at Insys Therapeutics. This landmark case was the first successful prosecution of high-ranking pharmaceutical executives linked to the opioid crisis, including onetime billionaire John Kapoor.

Big Pharma Gave Money To Patient Advocacy Groups Opposing Medicare Changes

Mar 4, 2019
Pill bottles in a pharmacy
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

Dozens of patient advocacy groups, like the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, recently appeared in national advertisements objecting to a Trump administration proposal that could limit drugs covered by Medicare providers. 

Alex Azar
Associated Press

Alex Azar’s job hop from drug-maker Eli Lilly to the Trump administration reflects ever-deepening ties between the pharmaceutical industry and the federal government.