On January 31st, President Donald Trump met with major pharmaceutical company executives, and signed an executive order on reducing regulation and controlling regulatory costs, the White House said in a press statement.
The president had a meeting with executives from Merck, Johnson & Johnson, Celgene, Amgen, Eli Lilly, and the PhRMA trade group. The meeting was also attended by Greg Walden, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Trump praised pharmaceutical firms’ efforts to cut drugs prices. But he also insisted that there is more work to be done in the pricing area. The president promised to continue reducing the burdensome regulations that raise the cost of doing business in the United States.
The president signed the executive action, titled Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Cost, during the last week. The main purpose of this order is “to manage the costs associated with the governmental imposition of private expenditures required to comply with Federal regulations.”
“It is the policy of the executive branch to be prudent and financially responsible in the expenditure of funds, from both public and private sources. In addition,… it is essential to manage the costs associated with the governmental imposition of private expenditures required to comply with Federal regulations,” the order states.
The order outlined two key changes. First, it requires that, for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations must be identified for elimination, and that the “cost of planned regulations is prudently managed and controlled through a budgeting process.” There will be a cap on the cost of new regulations. The total incremental cost of all new regulations, including eliminated regulations, to be finalized this year should be $0.
The order also requires the director of the Office of Management and Budget to provide the heads of agencies with guidance on implementing this policy change.
For the fiscal year 2018, and for each fiscal year thereafter, the head of each agency will identify, for each regulation that increases incremental cost, the offsetting regulations and provide the agency’s best approximation of the total costs or savings associated with each new regulation or repealed regulation.
Moreover, no regulations exceeding the agency’s total incremental cost allowance will be allowed in that fiscal year, unless required by law or approved in writing by the director. The total incremental cost allowance may allow an increase or require a reduction in total regulatory cost.
The order does not include regulations issued with respect to a military, national security, or foreign affairs function of the United States; regulations related to agency organization, management, or personnel; or any other category of regulations exempted by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.