July 28, 2020 / 3:15 PM / 13 days ago

Trump accuses pharmaceutical industry of running false ads on his drug price plan

U.S. President Donald Trump wears a protective face mask during a tour of the Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies' Innovation Center, a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant where components for a potential coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine candidate are being developed, in Morrrisville, North Carolina, U.S., July 27, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Tuesday slammed the pharmaceutical industry for what he said were false advertisements alleging his drug price plan would raise the cost of prescriptions for U.S. senior citizens.

“Big Pharma is taking television ads trying to make the case that I am raising prescription drug prices on seniors. The ad is a lie!,” he said on Twitter. “What I have done will lead to a 50% REDUCTION in prices, at least, & Big Pharma is not happy about it.”

Trump did not say to which ads or untruths he was referring.

On Friday, Trump signed off on four executive orders aimed at lowering the prices Americans pay for prescription drugs, some of which he had discussed in previous years but never signed amid questions about their practicality and effectiveness.

Friday’s move set off tensions with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America which described it as “a reckless distraction that impedes our ability to respond to the current pandemic – and those we could face in the future.”

Trump on Friday said he would meet with the drug industry to discuss voluntary moves it could make in return for the administration dropping one of the orders aimed at setting prices for medicines in the United States, but the meeting was cancelled.

Reporting by Tim Ahmann, additional reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Chris Reese and Alistair Bell

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