One of the Trump management’s key campaign guarantees the main as much as 2020 is to lessen prescription drug costs. The idea is definitely popular amongst even GOP citizens who are just as opposed to massive pharmaceutical groups price gouging pharmaceuticals because the revolutionary left is, but Trump has had some trouble getting his whole lot-touted plans off the ground as of past due. And that might be an inroad for the Democrats to capture on in 2020. So joining me now to speak approximately that is Wendell Potter. Wendell is a former health insurance government, serving as head of corporate communications for Cigna before leaving in 2008 after a crisis of conscience. And now, he’s a customer advocate and creator. His most modern mission is Tarbell.Org, which examines how money and politics affect tens of millions of Americans. Wendell, thanks for joining me.
WENDELL POTTER My pride, Jacqueline. Thank you.
JACQUELINE LUQMAN So permit’s communicate about Trump’s plan for transparency in prescription drug pricing due to the fact that’s what he knew as it. What changed into this plan, and what wouldn’t it have supposed for consumers?
WENDELL POTTER Well a few of the diverse things that he stated he could be doing alongside the strains of transparency, one becomes to require drug groups of their TV advertising to listing the costs of those medications, and that’s not going to manifest. There’s been a ruling that says that drug groups don’t should do this. It’s now not constitutional to require them to do this. And so, it’s no longer going to occur. It could be possibly meaningless in the first place. I think there’s some benefit sincerely in us understanding how much drug groups are charging for their medicines, but the reality is that we pay various quantities. There’s nobody charge. There might be a remaining list rate for a few medicines but irrespective of—Because so lots of us have one of a kind forms of medical insurance plans. Some of us ought to pay a lot out of our own pockets before our insurance kicks in. Some of us are uninsured. It’s almost a meaningless number anyway, however, it’s now not going to occur. That’s one aspect.
JACQUELINE LUQMAN So essentially, this plan that Trump touted that might power prescription drug fees down—And as a count number of reality, he stated, or certainly one of his Health and Human Services Department officers stated, that forcing pharmaceuticals to submit their prescription drug expenses could disgrace the pharmaceutical agencies into decreasing their expenses. So you’re saying that wouldn’t have befell, even supposing this ruling went in Trump’s want?
WENDELL POTTER Oh, really no longer. Again, there’s a benefit in transparency and understanding how much they genuinely are trying to escape with and gouge us. But the fact is, they could have finished it in a way that—Say as an example, you really need a remedy that’s being advertised, and you need to make certain that you’re probably getting the quality medicine that’s available on your treatment. A lot of humans would say, properly, that one that cost $50,000 is better than the one that values $20,000. Well, I want that $50,000 drug. So, you realize, we simply should hold in mind the psychology of so-known as purchasers or sufferers. So I’m now not positive it would have had the supposed impact. In truth, it may be counterproductive, to inform you of the fact.
JACQUELINE LUQMAN Counterproductive in what way?
WENDELL POTTER In that, they might do the advertising in this kind of manner to mention, look, our new drug or this new edition of a drug, it may cost a lot of cash, however, it’s a long way advanced than a competitor or an everyday. And so people might possibly then go to their doctor and say, appearance, I need the high-priced Cadillac drug, if you will, because it’s my health and my lifestyle on the line. So I’m not sure that that could honestly serve to bring fees down, and I don’t recognize that—You know, the drug corporations have established they’re now not shamed. They can’t be shamed all that a lot. We’ve visible them escape. There’s been a variety of exposure about the cash that they’re taking in, and the expenses they’re charging for drugs that just have no bearing in reality in terms of price. It’s just, they just charge them based totally on what they assume the marketplace can bear. So there’s been no shortage of publicity. It’s one of the reasons why Americans are outraged, however that outrage hasn’t translated into any modifications in terms of pricing with the aid of the big drug organizations.
JACQUELINE LUQMAN And, , one of the three large pharmaceutical companies placed out a announcement after this ruling came out of their desire, saying that they had been glad about the ruling and that what they had been going to do now become to awareness at the actual problem, which becomes making sure that American clients who can’t find the money for their medications are able to come up with the money for their medicines. But they said they would do it in a way that sounds interesting to me. They stated that they’re going to paintings with their stakeholders to cope with this trouble. Now, we’re speakme about pharmaceutical companies right here, Wendell. Who are their stakeholders? And how is the pharmaceutical business enterprise running with their stakeholders going to help Americans who can’t have the funds for the prescribed drugs capable of have the funds for them? That’s complicated to me. Is it a little bit perplexing?
WENDELL POTTER No, it’s far. And as a former corporate govt, I can tell you that their primary stakeholder is their shareholders or their shareholders plural. These businesses are in the commercial enterprise to make cash. They happen to make medications or capsules— in lots of cases, lifesaving tablets— however, their number one precedence is to make cash, to beautify shareholder fee. So that’s stakeholder number one. Who knows who they clearly have in mind once they’re talking approximately stakeholders? The ultimate stakeholder, of direction, is the affected person. But it also involves employers due to the fact lots of us get our insurance, our medical health insurance coverage, through our employers. It consists of coverage agencies, it consists of policymakers, so who knows? It’s simply one of these words that in reality hasn’t a lot of meaning. It simply is a not anything declaration, a not anything word to apply, a word that a few politicians have every now and then used that signifies definitely nothing. It just approaches that they’ve gotten a chunk more time to baffle us with BS.