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Trump forces Pfizer to back down and delay price hikes until 2019

Published on 11/07/18 at 09:48am

Trump bared his teeth, and it paid off. Following his call-out of Pfizer after the US pharma giant ignored the President’s threats to crack down on drug prices and raised the price of 100 of its drugs, the firm has confirmed it will delay planned price hikes until the beginning of next year.

The decision was made following “extensive” discussions between Pfizer CEO and Chairman Ian Read, President Trump and US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, with Pfizer committing to halt any increases in its prices for no more than six months, or until the Trump administration’s recently revealed plan to tackle high drug prices comes into effect.

“Pfizer shares the President’s concern for patients and commitment to providing affordable access to the medicines they need,” Read had said.

Azar also remarked in a statement: “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,” while Trump took to Twitter to claim victory:

“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!”

The move has been seen by some as Pfizer calling the President’s bluff to implement their planned drug price proposals. While targeting high drug prices has featured semi-prominently in Trump’s rhetoric over the course of his time in office, Azar had previously stated that bringing down prices could take years due to the complexity of the US healthcare system. If the administration cannot implement the plan, or it is not effective, Pfizer will raise its prices as planned by 1 January 2019.

Matt Fellows

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