Pfizer raises drug prices again, rebuking Trump

Pfizer raises drug prices again, rebuking Trump

Pfizer raises drug prices again, rebuking Trump

Drug giant Pfizer announced today it will increase the list prices of 41 medicines in January, just months after it agreed to temporarily roll back price hikes under pressure from President Donald Trump.

Pfizer's new price increases, which take effect Jan. 15, will apply to 10 percent of its portfolio, the company said. Most of those drugs will see 5 percent increases.

Trump attacked Pfizer in July after the company raised prices, just weeks after he announced a drug pricing plan he claimed would result in "historic" price cuts. Trump accused the company of "taking advantage of the poor & others unable to defend themselves," and Pfizer a day later agreed to cancel the price increases.

Pfizer at the time said the rollback would give Trump an opportunity to work on his administration's drug price plan. The company said it would reinstate price increases at the end of the year if the administration's drug pricing plan didn't take effect.

Trump's criticism of Pfizer also prompted nine other drugmakers to roll back or freeze prices. But the gestures were largely seen as symbolic, with some companies agreeing to freeze prices just weeks after they already took what is usually their last price increases of the year — companies typically raise prices in January and July. Health policy experts have expected the industry would resume regular price increases starting in January.

Pfizer said the new price increases are expected to be offset by higher rebates and discounts given to insurance companies and pharmacy benefits managers. The drugmaker said it doesn't expect the price hikes to increase their 2019 revenue.

Trump's drug pricing plan, a 44-page outline of proposals, largely remains unimplemented. Drug pricing is one area where the new Democratic House majority could find common ground with Trump, who has often criticized high drug prices.

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