As of July 1, the pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer, raised list prices on around 40 medications. The company makes and markets over 400 medicines and vaccines, meaning the drug hikes affected only 10 percent of their portfolio. Still, the changes brought outrage after President Trump suggested in May that the public would soon be seeing manufacturers voluntarily lowering prices. This has not happened. In fact, Pfizer is not the only company that has decided to raise prices this month. Israeli Teva Pharmaceutical Industries also raised drug prices on 14 of their drugs in June, and Roche Holding's Genentech division raised prices on certain drugs as of July 1.
President Trump took to Twitter to call out Pfizer and others who raised drug prices, with a promise 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
Two days later, it seems Pfizer heard the President loud and clear. The message: the American people come first. Pfizer has agreed to lower the prices back to where they were at the end of June as soon as possible, and give the administration until the end of the year to finish the policy which will lower drug prices. The President's campaign promise of making pharmaceutical medicines and healthcare more available is close to becoming a reality, and Pfizer executives are willing to wait it out.
See Pfizer's full statement below:
Following an extensive discussion with President Trump today, Pfizer’s Chairman and CEO Ian Read announced that it will defer the company’s price increases that were effective on July 1 to give the president an opportunity to work on his blueprint to strengthen the healthcare system and provide more access for patients. 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. In addition, the price declines the company took as of July 1 will remain in effect.
“Pfizer shares the President’s concern for patients and commitment to providing affordable access to the medicines they need,” said Ian Read. “The most fundamental way the biopharmaceutical industry creates value is by discovering innovative medicines that help people live longer, healthier, more productive lives. We have entered an exciting new era with scientific advances that will result in future breakthroughs and cures. This highly complex and important work also generates hundreds of thousands of highly skilled jobs across the U.S. Furthermore we have recently committed $5 billion of capital to expand our manufacturing in the U.S. We are encouraged that the President recognizes the value our industry brings to society and our ability to fulfill our mission to discover and bring innovative new medicines to patients.”