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Trump says pharmaceutical industry ‘getting away with murder’

US President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a press conference Wednesday at Trump Tower in New York. (AFP / Timothy A. Clary)

NEW YORK: President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday attacked the pharmaceutical industry for high drug prices and for manufacturing overseas, saying he will create new procedures for bidding on drugs.
The industry is “getting away with murder,” Trump said in his first press conference since he was elected, sending pharma stocks plunging.
“Pharma. Pharma has a lot of lobbies, a lot of lobbyists, a lot of power,” he said, making the industry the latest target of his frequent attacks on business since the November election which have included the auto and aerospace industries.
Trump said pharmaceutical companies will be coming back to the United States from overseas.
“Our drug industry has been disastrous. They’re leaving left and right. They supply our drugs but they don’t make them here, to a large extent,” Trump said.
To address high prices, “the other thing we have to do is create new bidding procedures for the drug industry,” he said.
The United States is “the largest buyer of drugs in the world” but does not bid properly, he said. With the changes to bidding procedures, which he did not specify, “We’re going to save billions of dollars.”
Trump claimed credit for recent announcements by auto makers Ford and Fiat-Chrysler of plans to boost investments in the United States, and in the case for Ford, canceling a $1.6 billion plant in Mexico.
Those decisions came after Trump’s repeated attacks via Twitter, threatening to impose stiff import tariffs on any vehicles the companies produce in Mexico for export to the US market.
“I appreciate that from Ford. I appreciate it very much from Fiat-Chrysler,” he said. “I hope that General Motors will be following. And I think they will be. I think a lot of people will be following.”

Pharma shares hit
Companies repeatedly have seen their share prices drop in the face of Trump’s Twitter attacks and been forced to respond.
Pharmaceutical companies were hit Wednesday: Mylan fell 2.5 percent, Pfizer dropped 2.0 percent, and Bristol-Myers declined 3.9 percent.
But Trump said he is working with business leaders to attract investment and create jobs.
“We’re going to create jobs. I said that I will be the greatest jobs producer that God ever created. And I mean that.”

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