During last night’s State of the Union Address, President Donald J. Trump announced his plan to bolster the fight against childhood cancer, and to bring down prescription drug prices.
Grace Eline, a 10-year-old who was diagnosed with brain cancer a year ago, was sitting alongside First Lady Melania Trump during the speech. Throughout radiation treatment, Grace simultaneously was raising funds for cancer, and has since raised more than $40,000 for the cause.
“Thank you very much, Grace. You are a great inspiration to everyone in the room,” Trump said.
Like Grace, the president also announced that he is also interested in upping funds for the field of oncology. Since 2018, funds for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have been increased by $79 million, bringing the federal budget for cancer research to $5.74 billion. This money goes toward clinical trials, addressing disparities and improving access to healthcare.
Trump announced that he will ask Congress for an additional $500 million over the next decade for, “this critical life-saving research.”
Last night, Trump also announced his goal of lowering drug costs – which he announced a “blueprint” for in May 2018.
“The next major priority for me, and for all of us, should be to lower the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs – and to protect patients with pre-existing conditions,” Trump said. According to the president, 2018 saw the largest decrease in drug prices in more than 40 years.
Trump explained that he wants drug companies, insurance companies, and hospitals to disclose actual drug prices. This, he says, will create competition and bring drug prices down.
“I am asking Congress to pass legislation that finally takes on the problem of global freeloading and delivers fairness and price transparence for American patients. Finally,” he said.