Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Trump claims Pfizer is 'rolling back price hikes'

Trump claims Pfizer is 'rolling back price hikes'

He said the company was "modifying prices" for roughly 10 per cent of its 400 medicines and vaccines, and that "list prices do not reflect what most patients or insurance companies pay".

The announcement marked a successful use of the bully pulpit for Trump and a relatively rapid concession by one of the country's largest companies.

Dr. Janette Nesheiwat on President Trump taking on drug companies over price hikes.

Trump's threat does not appear to have substantially affected Pfizer's stock price, but the firm could have decided it was unwise to risk become a punching bag for Trump. And in January 2017 Trump said the drug industry was "getting away with murder ". He backed down from that threat in May, but he retains the option. Trump said in May that some drug companies would announce "voluntary, massive" price decreases in two weeks, though none have materialized yet.

Pfizer & others should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason. 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 company will return these prices to their pre-July 1 levels as soon as technically possible, and the prices will remain in effect until the earlier of when the president's blueprint goes into effect or the end of the year - whichever is sooner. The drug maker referred to an "extensive discussion" with Trump and explained the deferral is taking place to give him "an opportunity to work on his blueprint to strengthen the health care system and provide more access for patients".

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Republicans have traditionally criticized of government intervention into the pricing of private companies.

Pfizer declined to answer more specific questions about the issue.

Trump hasn't detailed how precisely he planned to proceed. A Pfizer spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The company said that it's moving some production to Europe to avoid the European Union's retaliatory tariffs against US -made motorcycles. Trump threatened to hit Harley with severe taxes and help its rivals, but the firm so far has not wavered in its plan.

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