Trump, Pharma Talk Conflicts Of Interest: Invested In Celgene, Merck, Johnson And Johnson

While constitutionally questionable executive orders are flying out of the White House via Trump, pharma is rejoicing after their meeting on January 31 because Trump has reversed some of his ideas about how his administration will be dealing with them.

At one time, Senator Bernie Sanders agreed with Trump on some of his ideas to renegotiate pricing deals with pharmaceutical companies, according to a January 13 report from CNBC.

Mainly, Sanders sided with Trump because Trump stated pharma companies were “getting away with murder” by overcharging the U.S. government for medications and other supplies, according to a January 11 report from Reuters.

However, Bernie Sanders likely would not agree with Donald Trump’s new plans proposed on January 31, and Trump’s change of heart toward the pharma industry could be due to his conflicts of interest — more of which might be hidden in his still-unreleased tax returns.

For now, what the public does know is that Trump met on January 31 with top pharma executives that own companies Trump has invested in the recent past.

For example, in November of 2016, Forbes alleged Trump owns stock in pharma companies such as “Pfizer, Merck, Celgene and GlaxoSmithKline… Procter and Gamble, and Johnson and Johnson.”

Business Insider gave a complete list of Trump’s investments as of July 2015, and there were other players in the pharmaceutical industry companies mentioned such as Gilead Sciences and McKesson (an information technology and pharmaceutical distribution services company).

Adding to the idea that Trump may have conflicts of interest, among the pharma attendants at Trump’s meeting on January 31, according to Reuters, were top executives at Merck, Johnson and Johnson, Celgene, Eli Lilly, Amgen, and “Switzerland’s Novartis AG as well as the head of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America lobbying group (PhRMA).”

Trump’s pharma stance a red flag for conflict of interest.
Trump promised to be tough on big pharma and was not which might be an indication of a conflict of interest. [Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

Business Insider gave a rundown of events, and also noted that after a hard month, pharma stocks were going up after the Trump PhRMA meeting on January 31.

On December 7, 2016, Bloomberg quoted a representative of PhRMA claiming that she looks forward to a president that will give the pharmaceutical industry the power to “self-regulate on pricing” — and it appears she got her wish.

Unlike some of the ideals that Bernie Sanders might agree with about the changes needed to the pharmaceutical industry, Donald Trump’s new plan is different than his old one, as told by VOX.

For example, around March of 2016, Donald Trump adopted a “longstanding Democratic pledge to let Medicare negotiate bulk discounts in the price it pays for prescription drugs.”

Despite this, Vox argues that on January 31, Trump reversed ideas about negotiating bulk discounts on drugs, and instead called his old ideas a version of “price fixing” that would inhibit small businesses in the pharmaceutical industry.

In other words, instead of pressuring pharma to lower prices, Trump is going to give them more money by getting rid of regulations and lowering their taxes instead.

A reason that there could be a “new plan” by Trump and pharma executives that favors PhRMA – and not the American people – is because Donald Trump has owned stocks in their companies in the recent past.

Protestors are not happy with Trump.
Protestors could add Trump’s red flag of siding with Big Pharma as another excuse to denounce the president. [Image by Win McNamee/Getty Images]

In fact, many of these companies are part of Trump’s stock investments, and Fortune listed pharmaceutical companies such as Celgene, Gilead Sciences, Johnson and Johnson, and McKesson in his top 14.

Although Trump owned these stocks, he claims he has signed them over to his family in a “blind trust” that the Atlantic disputes is not truly “blind.” Instead, there are many opinions that Trump has and will continue to have issues with conflicts of interest regarding various industries despite denouncing that he will have conflicts of interest.

Adding to the inability of the public to see through any lies that Donald Trump might put out that pertain to conflicts of interest he does not want the public to connect, Donald Trump has not officially turned in his tax returns from years past.

Although it is required that a new president offers up their tax returns for scrutiny, and not doing it makes it difficult for the press to ascertain if there may be more conflicts of interest hidden behind his alleged “IRS audit” — the taxes are still not turned in even as President Trump makes executive orders.

Furthermore, on January 22, Counselor Kellyanne Conway announced on behalf of President Trump that he “will not be releasing his tax returns,” according to CNN, and she also stated the following.

“Our position from the campaign has not changed. [Trump] is under audit and has been advised by accountants and lawyers not to release [his tax returns].”

In addition to conflicts of interest with Trump and Big Pharma, as previously reported by the Inquisitr, it is predicted that Trump’s poor bedside manner with other countries, such as Mexico or the seven countries involved in the Muslim ban, may start a trade war, according to former Mexican President Vincente Fox on January 30.

[Feature Image by Andrew Harrer/Pool/Getty Images]