Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

After Drug Plan Shows Trump 'Will Do Nothing About Their Greed,' Big Pharma Stocks Soar

"When big pharmaceutical companies' stocks spike during your big reveal on lowering prices, you're doing something wrong."

Jake Johnson

"Don't be fooled: President Trump and his administration are bought and paid for by Big Pharma," Brad Woodhouse, campaign director of Protect Our Care, said in a statement. (Photo: Jeannie Baumann/Twitter)

In a strong indication that investors and major pharmaceutical companies know President Donald Trump's newly unveiled drug plan "will do nothing to rein in their greed," Big Pharma stocks soared on Friday as Trump delivered a brief and extremely vague speech promising to lower drug costs that critics called a "cover-up for the sweetheart deal" he's offering America's price-gouging drugmakers.

"When big pharmaceutical companies' stocks spike during your big reveal on lowering prices, you're doing something wrong," Brad Woodhouse, campaign director of Protect Our Care, said in a statement following Trump's speech on Friday. "Don't be fooled: President Trump and his administration are bought and paid for by Big Pharma."

Topher Spiro, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, argued that a major reason pharma stocks rose as Trump formally announced his plan is because the president placed blame for high U.S. drug prices on the low prices in nations with "socialized healthcare"—exonerating American drug giants from any blame for soaring costs.

Instead of tackling high U.S. prices, Trump effectively promised to work to "boost prices abroad," which is the drug industry's "number one priority," Spiro notes.

As Public Citizen noted in a series of tweets responding to Trump's speech, the notion that low drug prices overseas produce high prices in the U.S. is a Big Pharma talking point that is "completely untrue."

"Don't be fooled: President Trump and his administration are bought and paid for by Big Pharma."
—Brad Woodhouse, Protect Our Care

"In fact, lower prices overseas help keep prices down in U.S., by benchmarking more reasonable prices," Public Citizen noted. "Countries are not 'cheating,' they are just taking modest measures to restrain Big Pharma ripoffs."

Crafted with the help of former pharmaceutical executive and current Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Trump's plan represents a total departure from the president's campaign-trail rhetoric promising to take on drug giants that are "getting away with murder."

Most notably, Trump's plan would not allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, a widely popular policy that the president once claimed to support.

"They refuse to take meaningful action on skyrocketing drug prices, broke their promise to allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug costs, and all while showering drug companies with record tax breaks," Woodhouse of Protect Our Care concluded. "Sadly, it's ordinary Americans who will continue to pay the price for Trump’s broken promise."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Biden, Pelosi, and Schumer Told 'Stop Playing the Blame Game' and Extend Eviction Moratorium

"Who are the adults in the room?" asked the Sunrise Movement's advocacy director. "Do whatever it takes to extend the eviction moratorium and end this eviction emergency."

Jessica Corbett ·


Report Outlines 'Crucial' Need for Biden Administration to Aid Climate Refugees

"Ready solutions are available to address root causes and displacement that are centered in human rights and humanitarian protection."

Brett Wilkins ·


Hundreds Arrested in DC Demanding Voting Rights, End to Poverty, and Death of Filibuster

Clergy and low-wage workers with the Poor People's Campaign are also calling on Congress to treat the nation's immigrants with respect.

Jessica Corbett ·


'He Should Resign': Women's Rights Group Denounces Violent Misogyny of Kevin McCarthy

"With Kevin McCarthy voting against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, it is clear that his comments are reflective of his deeply held beliefs about how women should be treated."

Brett Wilkins ·


Amid Allegations of Child Endangerment, HHS Inspector General to Probe Fort Bliss Detention Facility

Whistleblowers had sounded alarm about the detention center contractors betraying children’s health and wellbeing.

Andrea Germanos ·