Pfizer responds to Trump's tweet criticizing drug price increases

Irving Hamilton
July 12, 2018

Earlier this month, the Financial Times reported that Pfizer had raised prices on about 100 drugs, following a pattern of regular increases that the company takes each year.

President Donald Trump praised Pfizer on Tuesday for rolling back price increases on dozens of pharmaceutical drugs, one day after he publicly criticized the company's price hikes.

Trump warned that his administration would respond to such an unjustified increase in drug prices.

At the time, many U.S. companies were anxious about what might happen if Trump made a decision to lead a charge against their industry, and stocks for pharmaceutical companies fell that day. During his presidential campaign, he promised lower United States drug costs. "Great news for the American people!"

Pfizer raised list prices on around 40 medicines earlier this month. They are merely taking advantage of the poor and others unable to defend themselves, while at the same time giving bargain basement prices to other countries in Europe and elsewhere. Trump, on Monday, tweeted said the company should be "ashamed" and vowed an unspecified response. For example, a number of Democrats in Congress have complained that large companies have used big savings from last year's tax cuts to buy back stock in a way that benefits shareholders, rather than use the money to boost wages or cut prices. Prices will remain in effect until the Trump blueprint takes effect or the end of 2018, whichever comes first.

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Instead, he relied on screenshots and shared them with the analysts, who say they believe he was still unable to find a buyer. Routers are also prized targets because they allow access to web activity, passwords and, potentially, top secret documents.

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.

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.

In a statement, the company said that it "shares the President's concern for patients and commitment to providing affordable access to the medicines they need".

"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", Read added.

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