Pfizer Reverses Drug Price Hikes After Call with Trump and HHS Secretary

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.

President Donald Trump said Pfizer Inc. should be "ashamed" for raising the prices of its pharmaceutical products, rattling shares of the US drug giant on Monday.

Pfizer is deferring the price increases it planned to take on some of its prescription drugs following a conversation between its CEO Ian Read and President Donald Trump. The pharmaceutical giant said the drugs will return to their pre-July 1 prices "as soon as technically possible" and stay in place until either the end of the year or until elements of the Trump-backed health care blueprint go into effect. For Pfizer, the increases on July 1 applied to more than 100 drugs, including Viagra, Norvasc blood pressure medication and lung cancer drug Xalkori. Trump wrote in a post on Twitter on Monday.

Trump reacted sharply to news of Pfizer's price hikes, proclaiming, "Pfizer & others should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason". Pfizer was followed by other pharma companies. The list price hikes don't factor in discounts that companies may provide to some insurance companies and patients. Trump promised companies would be announcing "massive, voluntary" price drops within two weeks.

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Mid-year drug price increases are a common industry practice that has not abated, despite the Trump administration's efforts.

The president did not say how the administration might retaliate, though the administration has characterized its drug-pricing proposal as an offer that companies shouldn't refuse, to avoid more heavy-handed measures.

Trump in May released a 44-page document that contained a list of ideas on ways to lower drug prices, but it did not contain any concrete actions that the White House would pursue. Still, Trump predicted it would lead, within weeks, to a major reduction in drug prices.

"I commend Pfizer for its constructive and professional approach, and its desire to work with President Trump to be part of the solution and not part of the problem", he said in a statement.

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