WASHINGTON, DC — Ben Wakana, the executive director of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, issued the following statement after reports that the drug industry has refused an invitation to meet with President Trump. The Tuesday meeting was called to discuss the president’s plan, announced Friday, to align some prescription drug prices in the United States’ Medicare program with lower prices paid in other countries.

“We don’t need Big Pharma’s permission to lower drug prices. The industry has had decades to self-regulate. By canceling tomorrow’s meeting, drug corporations acknowledged they have no intention of lowering drug prices now.

“The Trump administration should move forward immediately with its plan to tie U.S. drug prices to the lower prices paid in other wealthy nations.

“We hope the president will throw the full weight of his office, including upcoming executive orders, behind policies that lower the list prices of drugs for all Americans. Patients are suffering. We don’t have time to wait.”