The top executives at two of the largest U.S.
drugmakers weighed in on Thursday for the first time on possible
changes for the industry next year under U.S. President-elect
Since he was elected, Trump, who has said he wants to repeal
Obamacare and reform Medicare and Medicaid, has not addressed
the sharp drug price increases that dominated the Presidential
Pharma companies are breathing a sigh of relief, but Trump
could be more critical of drugmakers and their price increases
than the industry expects, Allergan Inc Chief Executive
Brent Saunders said on Thursday.
Saunders, speaking at the annual Forbes Healthcare Summit in
New York, predicted Trump could be a "more vicious tweeter"
against the drug industry than his former Democratic rival
Hillary Clinton had been during the campaign.
Clinton's tweets committing to a crackdown on exorbitant
price increases have weighed heavily on pharmaceutical shares
since her first tweet last September about an HIV drug sold by
Turing Pharmaceuticals. Biotech stocks took another hit on Aug.
24, when she tweeted about Mylan NV's EpiPen increases.
Pharma shares jumped in the days after Trump's election as
Clinton's proposed price controls fell off the table. They have
since given up most of those gains.
Saunders said Americans are rightly angry about price
increases, and the industry needs to police itself or face
"I worry today that the pharmaceutical industry has a very
false sense of security because of the Trump administration and
a Republican-controlled Congress," Saunders said.
Separately, Merck & Co CEO Ken Frazier said he
thought one of Trump's proposed healthcare reform policies -
allowing the imports of drugs from other countries - will not
work. The U.S. pays more than any other country for medicines,
and Trump has suggested that people be allowed to import them
from countries where they are cheaper. U.S. law currently
forbids this in most cases.
"I don't think it's going to be made possible," said
Frazier, who spoke on CNBC after an appearance at the Forbes
conference. "Every time we've tried to do that no FDA
commissioner has ever been willing to certify the safety of