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Allergan PLC CEO Brent Saunders warned pharmaceutical manufacturers not to let the election of Donald Trump as president of the US to result in a false sense of security across the industry when it comes to the public controversy over high drug prices.

“I worry today that the pharma industry has a very false sense of relief or security because of a Trump administration and Republican-controlled Congress,” Saunders said, speaking during a panel on drug pricing during the Forbes Healthcare Summit in New York City Dec. 1.

Trump won the election on a populist campaign and the drug pricing issue is a populist issue, he reminded industry. Debate over the cost of pharmaceuticals is not likely to abate because many Americans are “rightfully angry,” Saunders said.

“To think President Trump isn’t a populist, that he won’t jump on the next Epipen scandal and tweet more on a pricing scandal than Hillary Clinton tweeted or anybody else…you are fooling yourself,” he said.

What the drug industry does appear to have won is a short reprieve to address drug pricing without government intervention, Saunders added.

“We have a little bit of time to solve it ourselves, but we don’t have a lot of time,” he said. “The next big scandal will revive the debate.”


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