Trump calls top Dem about high drug prices

Trump calls top Dem about high drug prices
© Moriah Ratner

President Trump called House Oversight Committee ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) on Wednesday morning to talk about high prescription drug prices, a Cummings aide confirmed. 

The call lasted about four minutes and was first reported by April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks. 

Cummings is one of the most outspoken members of Congress calling for government action to fight high prescription drug prices. That Trump would speak with him directly is a further sign that the president is upending the usual Republican position on the issue, against government action to address prices. 

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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 has a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power, and there’s very little bidding on drugs," he added, referring to the group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. 

The call comes after Trump briefly spoke with Cummings at an inaugural lunch on Friday, when the two agreed to discuss the drug pricing issue more. 

On Wednesday, Trump also expressed condolences for the death of a Cummings staffer's children in a fire earlier this month.