Monday, 24 September, 2018

Donald Trump slams drug companies for raising prices

Pfizer sign President Donald Trump criticized Pfizer drug price hikes on Twitter on Monday
Jean Garcia | 12 July, 2018, 16:01

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'".

On Monday, Trump took aim at Pfizer and other US drugmakers after they raised prices on some of their medicines on July 1, saying his administration would respond.

"I think we're going to have some big - some of the big drug companies in two weeks, and they're going to announce, because of what we did, they're going to announce voluntary, massive drops in prices", Trump said at the time.

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. While prices on many drugs were increased, there were also decreases on a few of their products.

Trump sets North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies' military spending target to 4 percent
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg noted Wednesday that member countries have already been increasing their defense spending. He continued: "Nato is much stronger than it was two days ago".

The price rollback will take place "as soon as technically possible", according to Pfizer. That gives Trump, who made lowering prescription drug prices a top 2016 presidential campaign issue, a short-term victory he can point to in the run-up to the elections, which are being closely watched to see if Trump's fellow Republicans will be able to maintain control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. His comments appear to be motivated by a Financial Times piece stating that Pfizer raised their prices on 100 different drugs at the start of the month.

"Pfizer is rolling back price hikes, so American patients don't pay more". "They are merely taking advantage of the poor & others unable to defend themselves". The list price hikes don't factor in discounts that companies may provide to some insurance companies and patients.

The administration in May introduced a blueprint aimed at reducing drug prices. But by Tuesday, the company's position changed, as it opted to scrap the increases until at least next year.

Earlier this year, Trump predicted that drug companies would voluntarily cut their prices in response to his administration's actions.

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