Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
 / Updated  / Source:
By Dan Mangan, CNBC

President Donald Trump, during a meeting with leading drugmakers at the White House on Tuesday, called on them to produce their pharmaceuticals in the United States and said that he wanted to control "astronomical" drug prices.

Trump also blasted foreign countries, which he said have been "freeloading" on the United States with price controls that limit what their own citizens can be charged for medications.

"We have to get the prices down," Trump said. "We have to get the prices way down."

"We have to get lower prices, we have to get even better innovation, and I want you to move your companies back to the United States," Trump said. "I want you to manufacture in the United States."

Related: What's to Blame for High Drug Costs?

Trump also said he wanted to make it easier for pharmaceutical companies to win regulatory approval for their products.

"You're going to get your prices either approved, or not approved," the president said. "But it's going to be a quick process. It's not going to take 15 years."

The meeting included the CEOs of Merck, Amgen, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, as well as the head of the trade group PhRMA.

In remarks to reporters while flanked by those CEOs, Trump said, "The U.S. drug companies have produced extraordinary results for our country, but the prices have been astronomical for our country."