Tuesday, 18 September, 2018

Trump calls out Pfizer for raising drug prices

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures during a Make America Great Again rally in Great Falls Montana U.S. President Donald Trump gestures during a Make America Great Again rally in Great Falls Montana U.S
Priscilla Morrison | 12 July, 2018, 16:01

Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) said on Tuesday it was deferring drug price increases for no more than six months after the company's chief executive officer had an extensive conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Monday called on President Donald Trump to "stop just talking about high drug prices" and actually "do something" after the president whined on Twitter about Big Pharma raising prescription drug prices while continuing to flout his campaign promise lower costs for consumers. "Great news for the American people", Trump wrote. "In addition, the price declines the company took as of July 1 will remain in effect".

If you are serious about this issue, tell your Republican pals in Congress to pass bills requiring Medicare to negotiate drug prices and enabling the importation of safe, low-priced drugs from Canada and other countries. Such a reduction never took place, and companies instead made a decision to raise prices on a number of drugs.

At the time, many United States companies were anxious about what might happen if Trump chose to lead a charge against their industry, and stocks for pharmaceutical companies fell that day.

More news: Papa John’s founder apologizes for using N-word during conference call

The Financial Times and Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies had raised prices in recent days. Those include Viagra, cholesterol drug Lipitor and arthritis treatment Xeljanz, according to Wells Fargo.

Although many drug makers traditionally raise prices mid-year, Pfizer stood out last week for two reasons - the price hikes were for dozens of drugs and the actual increases were particularly large. Importantly, list prices do not reflect what most patients or insurance companies pay. Some of the drug prices increased by double digit percentages.

"Pfizer shares the President's concern for patients and commitment to providing affordable access to the medicines they need", Read said in a statement. Moreover, the vast majority of those increases were more than 9 percent, which greatly exceeds inflation while adhering to an informal and voluntary industry move to keep price hikes below 10 percent.

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