Chamber launches ad blitz against Trump drug-pricing proposal

The Chamber of Commerce is launching a seven-figure ad campaign targeting a proposal from the Trump administration aimed at bringing down drug prices.

The proposal, which is fiercely opposed by the pharmaceutical industry and other groups, would link what Medicare pays for prescription drugs to what other countries pay.

The Chamber is urging the administration through cable, digital and print ads to drop the proposal and for members of Congress to oppose it, characterizing it as "foreign price controls."

The ad campaign will run through early to mid-March.

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Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue argued in a statement that the proposal would "reduce seniors' access to lifesaving drugs and squelch innovation."

"On top of that, the importation of foreign price controls in this, or any other context, would be an assault on our free enterprise system,” he said.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has defended the proposal, arguing it won't affect patient access to drugs and brings the U.S. more in line with what other countries pay for the drugs. 

The proposal would cut the cost of the most expensive drugs paid for by Medicare by 30 percent, HHS says.

"Now that we’ve put forth this model, from now on, no drug company will ever agree to a discount in Europe without considering how it might affect the price they get in the United States," HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a speech last month.