House Dems call on Trump to negotiate lower prices for opioid overdoses

House Dems call on Trump to negotiate lower prices for opioid overdoses
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Fifty-one House Democrats are urging President Trump to negotiate lower prices for naloxone, a drug used to rapidly treat opioid overdoses. 

In a Tuesday letter to Trump, the lawmakers, led by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), called on Trump to declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency and to immediately begin negotiating reduced prices for the overdose treatment.

"The price of this drug  —  which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1971  —  has skyrocketed in recent years,” the letter reads. “Although state and local purchasers have been able to secure some discounts for naloxone, high prices are forcing these entities to severely ration their supplies.”

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The lawmakers said that Trump should follow the advice of his Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, which recommended in an interim report in July that the president “declare a national emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act.”

By doing so, the commission said, Trump could empower Health and Human Services Secretary Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceWhite House officials discussing potential replacements for FEMA chief: report Overnight Health Care: CBO finds bill delaying parts of ObamaCare costs B | Drug CEO defends 400 percent price hike | HHS declares health emergency ahead of hurricane HHS should look into Azar's close ties to the drug industry MORE to "negotiate reduced pricing" on naloxone. 

Trump told reporters at his Bedminster, N.J., golf club on Aug. 10 that he was preparing to declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency, but there has been no official movement from the administration.

“We’re going to draw it up and we’re going to make it a national emergency,” Trump said. “It is a serious problem, the likes of which we have never had. You know, when I was growing up, they had the LSD and they had certain generations of drugs. There’s never been anything like what’s happened to this country over the last four or five years.”