© Greg Nash
President Trump told Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) at an inaugural luncheon Friday that the two needed to meet about the high cost of prescription drugs, according to a Cummings aide.
Cummings is one of the most outspoken lawmakers in favor of government action to fight high drug prices. Trump’s apparent willingness to work with him on the issue is a further sign that the new president is upending the usual GOP position against government action on drug prices.
The conversation between Trump and Cummings was first reported by April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks.
Cummings has repeatedly teamed up with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersIn Washington, the road almost never taken Don't let partisan politics impede Texas' economic recovery The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble MORE (I-Vt.) to introduce legislation to fight high drug prices. In 2015, the two lawmakers introduced a bill to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices and encourage the importation of lower-cost drugs from Canada.
Trump has echoed some of those calls himself.
At a press conference earlier this month, Trump attacked pharmaceutical companies and repeated his call for Medicare to negotiate prices, a position most Republican lawmakers oppose.
"The other thing we have to do is create new bidding procedures for the drug industry, because they’re getting away with murder," Trump said then.
"PhRMA, PhRMA has a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power and there’s very little bidding on drugs," he added, calling out the drug companies.
It is unclear, though, what legislation on drug prices could actually get through Congress, given Republican control.
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