Merck CEO Ken Frazier quit the council over Trump's response to the events in Charlottesville over the weekend
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with manufacturing executives at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. From left are, Trump, Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier, and Ford CEO Mark Fields. photo: AP/Evan Vucci, photo: AP/Evan Vucci
14 of August 2017 13:12:24
TRENTON – President Donald Trump lashed out at the CEO of the nation's third-largest pharmaceutical company after he resigned from a federal advisory council, citing the president's failure to immediately and explicitly rebuke the white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia.By early afternoon, the president did issue a direct condemnation of hate groups, but it did not appear to tamp down criticism that it was not done over the weekend when fringe groups clashed with protesters.
Frazier is one of the few African Americans to head a Fortune 500 company.Drugmakers have come under withering criticism for soaring prices in the U.S., including by Trump, though he has yet to act on a promise to contain them.With the barb, Trump appeared to attack an industry executive who has tried to make drug pricing somewhat more transparent by revealing his company's overall drug price changes.In January, Merck reported that its average net prices — the amount the company receives after discounts and other rebates — increased in the years since 2010 in a range between 3.4 percent and 6.2 percent. That's about half as large as the increase in its retail prices.The exchange lit up social media on Monday, with many people lauding Frazier and blasting the president.Other corporate executives aired support for Frazier as well.
Now that Ken Frazier of Merck Pharma has resigned from President's Manufacturing Council,he will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 14, 2017
LINDA A. JOHNSON