Trump Attacks Pfizer Over Drug Prices in Latest Dig at Industry

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures during a Make America Great Again rally in Great Falls Montana

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.

The return of the price to its pre-July 1 was first broadcast by Trump in a tweet, in which he characterized it as "rolling back price hikes, so American patients don't pay more".

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has hinted that Trump may use his bully pulpit to publicly shame companies that raise prices, but experts are skeptical it will have the desired effect.

Trump had said in May that some drug companies would soon announce "voluntary, massive" cuts in prices, but none have materialized yet. As Common Dreams reported, "rather than allowing the government to negotiate lower drug prices-a proposal backed by 92 percent of Americans-Trump's plan vaguely promises to "encourage innovation" in the private sector while pursuing "reforms" to Medicare to promote 'greater flexibility'".


The Pfizer price hikes, most of which were more than 9 percent, embarrassed Trump and came amid an ongoing push by his administration to find a solution to rising drug prices. But on Monday, even after Trump singled out Pfizer by name and vowed a response, the company's investors appeared to mostly shrug it off. It was followed by other pharma companies.

In a statement, Pfizer said price changes affected a small slice of their business and that many consumers will feel no financial pain, due to rebates in the pharmaceutical supply chain. The company agreed to make the deferral while the Trump administration works on President Trump's blueprint to lower drug prices and improve healthcare for patients. The price decreases will remain in effect, according to Pfizer's Tuesday release.

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. For example, in August past year he criticized Merck & Co., saying the company was shipping jobs outside of the US while raising prices.

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