Fact Check: CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Misleads on Prescription Drug Prices


CLAIM: Americans are paying more for prescription drugs than they did a decade ago, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer said.

VERDICT: Incomplete. Prescription drug prices also fell last year for the first time in nearly half a century.

Blizter made the partial claim in posing a question at the Democrat debate in Des Moines, Iowa, on Tuesday evening.

It is true that Americans pay more than we did a decade ago — but under President Donald Trump, prices have fallen.

As MarketWatch explained last year:

Here’s a shocker: The cost of prescription drugs are falling for the first time in 47 years.

The government on Tuesday said prescription prices sank 1% in February, marking the biggest one-month decline ever.

What’s more, the cost of prescription drugs over the past year have dropped by 1.2%. That’s the biggest 12-month decline since 1972.

What’s going on?

Drugmakers are feeling the heat, for one thing. Amid a public outcry, lawmakers in both parties from President Trump on down have been pushing drug makers to rein in prices or face potentially stiffer rules. Congress has already held a half-dozen hearings this year and grilled drug industry executives in public.

Episodes of pubic browbeating can only go so far, though. Government regulators are seeking to do their part by speeding up the approval of generic drugs to increase competition. A slew of new one ones are hitting the market in 2019.

Read the full MarketWatch article here. It is not clear whether the drop is temporary or whether, as in other instances, it will be reversed once again by rising prices. But President Trump has pushed for legislation and regulatory reform to rein in prescription drug prices.

One obstacle: Democrats’ push for impeachment has interfered with bipartisan cooperation on the issue.

Regardless, for Blitzer only to mention the rise in prices over a decade, without the more recent decline, was misleading.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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