Reality Check: Trump's prescription drug costs goal may be tough sell in Congress

President Donald Trump delivers his first State of the Union address in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol to a joint session of Congress Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 in Washington. (Win McNamee/Pool via AP)

During the State of the Union, President Donald Trump announced he would reduce the price of prescription drugs, calling it one of his “greatest priorities” in the year.

“That's why I directed my administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of my top priorities of the year,” he said, adding, “prices will come down substantially.”

Trump didn't reveal any details about how he would accomplish this goal, but it is a promise he has had since the 2016 campaign trail. It is also a vision many Americans are hoping will come to fruition.

“I think it's completely necessary at this point, because this is something that's been going on for a long time, I mean decades that people have had a hard time affording their prescriptions every month,” said Elizabeth Ready of Asheville.

“I do believe that there are a lot of prescription drugs that are life-saving, insulin being one, EpiPen being another, that are way overpriced,” Jimmy Irvin said.

According to the Journal of American Medical Association in 2013, on average, Americans paid more than twice as much as people in 19 other industrialized nations.

Political science professor Chris Cooper said convincing Congress to catch up will be a tough sell for the president.

“The pharmaceutical industry has some really powerful lobbyists in Washington, so it’s a really difficult issue to get Congress to be on your side about because you have so much money pouring in to support the pharmaceutical industry,” Cooper said.

It’s a challenge Kay Ferry is trying to remain optimistic about.

“He's got a big agenda. He's hopeful about a lot of things. I just didn't lean in his direction, but I think once a president is elected, you have to be hopeful,” Ferry said.

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