US President Donald Trump signals upcoming "massive" price cuts by drugmakers

US President Donald Trump suggested Wednesday that major pharmaceutical companies will announce "voluntary massive" cuts to the prices of drugs in two weeks. "We're also working very hard at getting the cost of medicine down, and I think people are going to start to see for the first time ever in this country a major drop in the cost of prescription drugs," Trump commented. 

Trump's remarks came as he signed legislation allowing patients with terminal illnesses a right to try experimental treatments. According to Trump, executives from drugmakers will visit the White House to make the announcement on price cuts, although he didn't provide further details.

The news comes after Trump unveiled a blueprint earlier this month seeking to reduce drug prices and increase competition for prescription drugs. The president, who previously accused the pharmaceutical industry of "getting away with murder," has called on drugmakers to lower prices. 

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Meanwhile, US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who promised earlier this month that "bold action" was forthcoming on drug pricing, has revealed that the government is considering proposals that would expand the ability of Medicare to negotiate drug prices.  

Following criticism from patients and lawmakers, a number of companies, including AbbVie, Allergan and Novo Nordisk, pledged to restrain price increases in the US to the single-digit range, while Sanofi indicated that it would tie US price increases to the national health expenditures growth projection. A report earlier this year found that while US drug prices rose last year, the sizes of the increases remained within the previously announced limits. 

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