Tuesday, 18 September, 2018


Trump Says Drugmaker Pfizer Should Be "Ashamed" For Drug Price Hikes

A Pfizer building in Kalamazoo County A Pfizer building in Kalamazoo County
Conrad Doyle | 12 July, 2018, 17:27

The company added that prices will return to the levels before the July 1 price hike "as soon as technically possible" and will remain in effect until the Trump blueprint goes into effect or by the end of this year - whichever is sooner.

A tweet by US President Donald Trump slamming Pfizer and other pharma companies for raising prices of drugs at will sent Indian pharma shares reeling on Tuesday morning.

Pfizer confirmed in a statement that it had made a decision to roll back the price increases after discussions between Trump and company CEO Ian Read. For Pfizer, the increases on July 1 applied to more than 100 drugs, including Viagra, Norvasc blood pressure medication and lung cancer drug Xalkori.

The rollback came a day after Trump took aim at Pfizer and other US drugmakers for raising prices on some of their medicines, saying in a tweet that they "should be ashamed" and that his administration would respond.

Trump rolled out a blueprint in May that laid out how the administration planned to lower drug prices, a top 2016 presidential campaign promise. "Great news for the American people", Trump wrote. He accused the company of taking advantage of the poor and defenseless while giving bargains to countries in Europe and elsewhere.

Trump, a longtime critic of rising drug prices, has previously suggested the government negotiate drug prices and allow the importing of prescription drugs from overseas-both moves that would hurt the pharmaceutical companies at home.

No concrete steps were taken, but Trump predicted that the industry would respond anyway and that there would be "voluntary, massive drops in prices" within two weeks. For example, in August a year ago he criticized Merck & Co., saying the company was shipping jobs outside of the US while raising prices.

The president did not say how the administration might retaliate, though the administration has characterized its drug-pricing proposal as an offer that companies shouldn't refuse, to avoid more heavy-handed measures.

Dean Mastrojohn, a Pfizer spokesman, said the company's "price list remains unchanged for the majority of our medicines".

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