Lobbyists, lawmakers slam Trump’s plan to slash regulation

Trump With Hand Raised
President Donald Trump wants to cut up to 80% of regulations.

Lobbyists and lawmakers have laid into President Donald Trump’s plan to slash the number of regulations covering drug developers. Yet, while public advocacy groups and politicians expressed dismay about the proposal, Trump’s plan received more favorable feedback from BIO and PhRMA.

Trump used yesterday’s meeting with leaders of the pharma industry to outline a plan to “[cut] regulations like nobody has ever seen before.” The goal is to remove unnecessary FDA regulation. And, as Trump sees it, a lot of regulations fall into this category. Up to 80% if regulations could get the chop of Trump gets his way.

The proposal has met with criticism.

“President Trump’s promise to cut regulations and speed up the drug approval process at the FDA is a dangerous idea. These regulations are in place for a reason. When lives are at stake, it is an outrage that President Trump would consider putting the profits of pharmaceutical corporations ahead of safety,” Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro said in a statement.

Lobbying group Public Citizen was similarly damning about what it described as “Trump’s horrifying proposal.” Public Citizen said the plan “reflects utter ignorance” about the role of FDA and will “destroy the ability of the agency to protect patients and consumers from unsafe or ineffective medications.”

The industry is, publicly at least, more upbeat about Trump’s plans. BIO said Trump’s desire to “cut unnecessary regulation” is an idea it has been advocating for, but made no comment on whether it sees eye to eye with the President on what proportion of regulations are unnecessary.

PhRMA was similarly enthusiastic about the plan to remove “outdated regulations that drive up costs and slow innovation.” When combined with Trump’s broader plans for tax and trade, PhRMA thinks the regulatory cuts could create 350,000 jobs over the next decade.

The plan to cut the number of FDA regulations is part of a broader debate about the purpose of FDA and how it will function under Trump. Comments made by the President, his advisors and potential candidates for the top job at FDA suggest Trump is open to rethinking the agency’s role as a gatekeeper.