Trump’s Drug Pricing Executive Order is Likely to be an Unfettered Giveaway to Big Pharma: Insights from 2017 Special 301 Report

BY: Professor Brook K. Baker, Northeastern University School of Law; Health GAP, Senior Policy Analyst  

An Executive Order (EO) on drug pricing anticipated from President Trump will advance intellectual property standards and protections that support unrestricted monopoly pricing by multinational biologic and pharmaceutical companies overseas. Far from reducing prices for US consumers, these efforts will obstruct access to essential medicines in foreign countries while maintaining price-gouging practices in the US. The EO will do so based on claims that foreign countries provide insufficient protection for US pharmaceutical companies’ monopoly interests and thus that US consumers and payers pay more than their fair share towards research and development.  According to a leaked memorandum addressing President Trump’s expected Executive Order on drug prices and trade policy:  

Extending the patent life of drugs in foreign markets to “provide for protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights” will ensure “that American consumers do not unfairly subsidize research and development for people throughout the globe.” 

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AIDS Activists Push PEPFAR Plans Toward Higher Impact

Civil society groups recently capped a busy few months of advocacy around the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) that succeeded in moving many millions of dollars toward key community priorities to improve the AIDS response. Health GAP has been part of a collaborative advocacy effort with allies in a dozen countries and global networks to use the PEPFAR Country Operational Planning (COPs) process to push U.S. AIDS funding into high-impact, evidence-based programming that meets the real needs and demands of affected communities.

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AIDS activists fought back during Trump’s first 100 days

Unlike Trump, we accomplished a lot in the last 100 days! Starting on Inauguration Day, SGAC and the grassroots network of our AIDS activist accomplices pushed a record 156 Representatives to sign a “Dear Colleague” letter demanding full funding for the global AIDS response, wrote 14 letters to the editor, and held 24 in-district meetings with Members of Congress.

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Setting Advocacy Priorities: PEPFAR Country Operational Plans 2017

(Originally published on MSMGF)

This week in Johannesburg, South Africa, MSMGF, Health GAP, and AVAC gathered 15 advocates from Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Uganda, Unites States, and Tanzania to prepare together to advocate for gay men and other men who have sex with men in their national HIV programs. This workshop came before U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Country and Regional Operational Plan review meetings where officials from 23 countries will review and finalize PEPFAR-supported programs that will be implemented next year.

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Trump Sends Chilling Proposal to Congress with Deadly Proposition -- Cap HIV Treatment Expansion Immediately

(Originally posted on

President Donald Trump included a chilling proposal last week in his request for the as yet unresolved 2017 federal budget:  slash funding for the wildly successful and bipartisan-backed President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) by $300 million and "begin slowing the rate of new patients on treatment in FY 17." While many policymakers are dismissing the possibility that this proposed budget will pass through Congress, advocates nevertheless have every reason to be deeply concerned. This dangerous proposal is likely a harbinger of more grave harm to come. What could be a worse strategy for combatting the world’s leading infectious disease killer than slowing the expansion of treatment that not only saves lives but also prevents HIV transmission?

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