Among the many, many falsehoods and outright lies that Donald Trump has been presenting to his supporters at the fascist rallies he’s been holding this spring, summer, and fall, Donald Trump has been repeatedly spinning a story about how he’s been busy reducing the price of prescription drugs:
“We’ve taken historic action to reduce the price of prescription drugs. Did you see — did you see four weeks ago when Pfizer and Novartis and other drug companies raised the prices of their drugs very, very substantially? And I didn’t like it. And I called them. I said, you can’t do that. You can’t do that. And the first time — and I give them credit. And I really thank them, too, honestly. But first time in history, they rescinded their price increase and they kept it the same, and they promised no increase for a substantial time.”
“We’re reducing the price of prescription drugs to help critically ill patients access life-saving treatment we passed.”
“And to reduce drug prices, the FDA has approved a record number of affordable generic medicines. And that’s not all. Drug prices are coming down. You might have seen last month where I called up some of the drug companies. I said, “Folks, you just raised up the drug prices. You can’t do that.” And they all reduced them. Do you believe it? That’s when I said, “I’ve a lot of power.” Pfizer, right? You saw that. Pfizer, Novartis, they raised their drug prices and I’m bringing them down. I said, “What are you doing with raising them?” “I’m sorry, Mr. President, we’ll reduce them immediately.” I said, “Man, this is a powerful position. I never…” First time in the history of drug companies that they’ve done that. They literally announced it. I called them the next day. I told them I was extremely unhappy and they said, “We’re going to reduce it.” Who the hell does that? Do you think Hillary Clinton would have done that? [Audience Responds No] I don’t think so. I don’t think so. [Audience Chants Lock her up] “
This may not come as a surprise, but, despite the nonsense that Trump has been spouting at his rallies, prescription drug prices have not been declining since Donald Trump became President. Instead, prescription drug prices have been going up:
Over the first seven months of the year, there were 96 price hikes for every price cut, the AP found. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, the administration’s point person for efforts to lower drug prices, conceded in a recent AP interview that it will be a while before drug prices fall. He noted the complexity of the medicine market and its incentives for drugmakers to boost prices so they and middlemen make bigger profits.
- There were fewer price increases this year from January through July than in comparable prior-year periods, but companies still hiked prices far more often than they cut them. This year through the end of July, there were 4,412 brand-name drug price increases and 46 price cuts, a ratio of 96-to-1.
- In June and July, right after Trump’s price cut prediction, there were 395 price increases and 24 decreases. The two dozen cuts were up from the 15 decreases in those same two months last year, but increases still outpaced decreases by a ratio of 16.5-to-1.
Just this month, a fresh controversy over price hikes erupted, triggering criticism of Nostrum Laboratories. The tiny Kansas City, Missouri-based generic drug company posted a 404 percent increase, to $2,392.32 per bottle, for its generic version of a 65-year-old liquid antibiotic for bladder infections, nitrofurantoin.
Nostrum’s product and competitors had been off the market since January after federal regulators required that they be reformulated. Nostrum now is relaunching its version amid limited competition. Chief executive Nirmal Mulye told the AP that the maker of the brand-name version, Casper Pharma, hiked its price to $2,800, so Nostrum was “obligated” to maximize its own profit to keep the company afloat after years of losing money.
Experts don’t expect drugmakers to slash prices soon, if ever.
Trump’s “blueprint” for reducing drug prices, released on May 10, has no provisions for reducing prices of the costliest new brand-name drugs, which won’t face competition for years, Bach said.
Schondelmeyer predicts drugmakers “will wait to see if this blueprint is going to do anything.” If it doesn’t bring substantive policy changes, they won’t alter their pricing strategy, he said.
Donald Trump just keeps lying to the attendees of his fascist rallies about almost everything.
He’s been lying about crime:
This kind of rhetoric is also not new to Donald Trump, who opened his campaign for President by labeling immigrants as criminals, then spent the entire general election labeling his opponent as a criminal. Trump undoubtedly sees this fascist tactic of labeling political enemies as criminals to be a successful propaganda tactic he can repeat whenever possible. But, in practice, his accusation that Democrats are the “party of crime” is contradicted by the fact that the policies of the Republican party, and Trump himself, have been shown to have a much greater effect on increases in crime than any policy supported by Democrats.
He’s been lying about his Mexico-Canada trade deal:
Because it was Obama who had negotiated largely these same terms with Mexico and Canada, Trump threw them in the trash in January of 2017, only to agree to basically the same terms 20 months later. In the meantime, industries that could have been helped by these terms 20 months ago were caused unnecessary suffering as Mexico and Canada not only did not start applying those new concessions, but instead went the opposite route and initiated retaliation measures.
He’s been lying about bringing back coal:
The way Donald Trump tells it, one of the main drivers of job growth in America right now is the coal mining industry. As usual, though, Donald Trump’s reality is not actual reality.
Now, let’s look at coal mining jobs. Since January 2017, there have been just 1,900 new coal mining jobs created, out of 3.8 million new jobs. This is equal to 0.05% of all new jobs since Trump became President.
He’s been lying about West Virginia’s economy:
The thing is, West Virginia’s economy is not booming. Poverty in West Virginia is not plummeting. Barely any new coal jobs are being created. And, West Virginia is not one of the most successful GDP states in the union.
The facts are, in fact, just the opposite, as was reported a day before his latest rally.
He’s been lying about overall job creation, wage growth, and manufacturing job growth:
I’m having a tough time seeing much of a difference between the monthly job growth numbers under Trump (2017-2018) and Obama (2009-2016).
Again, it is difficult to tell any change between the pace of wage growth under Obama and under Trump. Looks like a pretty steady trend.
Fastest rate in more than 30 years? Looks to me like manufacturing jobs have been growing at a pretty similarly steady rate since 2010.
He’s been lying about wind power:
1. Wind turbines are not “wind mills” or “wind wheels”. Wind mills grind grain. I have no idea what a “wind wheel” is.
2. The wind industry takes steps to reduce bird deaths by using tubular towers to prevent roosting, avoiding bird migratory routes and avoiding bird habitats. Trump could point out a) that buildings, cell towers and cats each kill more birds than wind turbines and the turbines kill far fewer human beings than air pollution from coal-fired power plants.
3. There are several solutions for when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine: storing their power in batteries, for example, and using the grid to move power from places where the wind is blowing to places where it isn’t.
4. Trump apparently doesn’t realize that fossil fuels are subsidized, too. They have been for about 100 years. Nuclear power has never generated a kilowatt of electricity without government subsidies. We can justify government help for important emerging industries like clean and renewable energy, but not for the richest corporations and the dirtiest fuels in the world. As for renewable energy subsidies, Congress has decided to phase them out, but there is no end in sight to fossil energy subsidies.
He’s been lying about the effectiveness of his trade war:
In fact, so far, Trump’s trade war has only increased the trade deficit he keeps griping about.
New data out Wednesday showed the U.S. trade deficit in July widening at its fastest rate since 2015 as monthly deficits with China and the European Union both hit new records. In the year so far, the U.S.’s overall goods and services deficit is up by $22 billion, or 7 percent, versus the same period last year.
How many more lies are his supporters going to swallow? Hasn’t this ridiculous dishonesty gone far enough?