View Header

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 16 , 1993

Statement from the White House


The White House today indicated its support of Senator David Pryor's (D-AR) call for pharmaceutical manufacturers to sign voluntary commitments to restrain prescription drug price increases:

"While we are still evaluating the specifics of Senator Pryor's proposal, we applaud him for his vision, dedication and leadership in doing all he can to help make prescription drugs affordable and accessible for the American public. His challenge to the industry is precisely the type of initiative which must be met by pharmaceutical manufacturers and others in the health care industry if we are going to work together to put the brakes on health care inflation.

Under Senator Pryor's proposal, the makers of prescription drugs would commit to limiting retail price increases to the annual inflation rate. By taking this action, manufacturers would protect the American consumer from escalation of drug prices. This is important because drug price inflation has been particularly significant at the consumer level over the last twelve years.

Based on the many thousands of letters that the White House has received over the past eight months on health care reform, the cost of prescription medications is among the top concerns of Americans. Senator Pryor's approach appears to provide a realistic way to deal with medication costs during the period of transition to the new system.

The pharmaceutical industry has repeatedly stated that they are committed to keeping price increases for their products at or below the general inflation rate. Recently the President called on the industry to keep to their pledge. Senator Pryor's proposal represents a golden opportunity for the industry to make good on that pledge to the American public."