Feeling Heat From Trump, Pfizer Pulls Back on Price Increases

The president uses his bully pulpit to denounce the drug company’s plans to hike prices.

Pfizer blinked. President Trump and Pfizer CEO Ian Read had a long talk yesterday about the company’s decision last week to raise the prices on about 40 of the drugs it manufactures. As the Wall Street Journal reports, Trump stated in no uncertain terms his opposition to the idea.

The result was Pfizer’s releasing a statement saying that it will return the prices of the drugs to what they were before the July 1 markup as “soon as technically possible.”

Those lower prices will remain in effect until Trump puts his plan forward to curb rising drug prices or until the end of the year, whichever comes first, the company stated. The incident points to just how much political heat drug prices draw, even from a president that the pharmaceutical industry feels would have been much more friendly than an administration headed by Hillary Clinton.

“The president’s pointed criticism of Pfizer, and the company’s abrupt about-face, suggest there may be limits to how much latitude the industry has on pricing even with an administration considered generally supportive,” the newspaper reports.