Pfizer Agrees To Postpone Drug Price Hikes After Trump Tweet
President Trump is now applauding Pfizer for agreeing to reverse or postpone drug price hikes, a day after he pressured the pharmaceutical giant in a scathing tweet.
He posted a tweet Tuesday evening saying he has spoken with both Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Pfizer Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ian Read about the price increases. Trump praised Pfizer for "rolling back price hikes, so American patients don't pay more," saying he "hopes other companies do the same."
Just talked with Pfizer CEO and @SecAzar on our drug pricing blueprint. Pfizer is rolling back price hikes, so American patients don’t pay more. We applaud Pfizer for this decision and hope other companies do the same. Great news for the American people!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2018
In a statement, the company confirmed the conversation, calling it extensive. Pfizer said it will return prices on dozens of the company's drugs to where they were before July 1 "as soon as technically possible."
The company says they will remain there until the end of the year or when the president's blueprint for lowering prices goes into effect, whichever comes first.
Pfizer's move to postpone the price hikes came a day after the president attacked the company on Twitter, saying that Pfizer and other companies "should be ashamed for raising drug prices for no reason." He said, "They are merely taking advantage of the poor and others unable to defend themselves, while at the same time giving bargain basement prices to other countries in Europe & elsewhere." Mr. Trump ended the tweet with a threat to respond.
Pfizer & others should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason. They are merely taking advantage of the poor & others unable to defend themselves, while at the same time giving bargain basement prices to other countries in Europe & elsewhere. We will respond!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2018
Trump campaigned in 2016 on lowering the price of prescription drugs. He made his first move toward that end in early May when he released a nearly 40-page blueprint during a speech in the Rose Garden of the White House.
Pfizer says its decision is aimed at giving the president the opportunity to work on his proposals to lower prices.
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.