After rolling back some increases on drug prices earlier this year under pressure from President Donald Trump, pharmaceutical industry giant Pfizer Inc. (PFE) is planning to resume list price hikes in January, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Without Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices from Trump, Pfizer Resumes Business as Usual
On Friday, Pfizer, one of the largest drug makers in the world, said it will raise list prices on 41 prescription drugs, or about 10% of its drugs. A majority of the price increases will be 5%, though Pfizer will raise three drugs' list prices by 3% and one by 9%.
List prices reflect the advertised cost of a drug, before taking into account rebates, or discounts, paid by insurers.
"We believe the best means to address affordability of medicines is to reduce the growing out-of-pocket costs that consumers are facing due to high deductibles and co-insurance, and ensure that patients receive the benefit of rebates at the pharmacy counter," said Pfizer CEO Ian Read in a statement.
This summer, Trump took to his Twitter account after Pfizer announced that it planned to increase drug prices, writing that the New York City-based company and its peers "should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason," and that "they are merely taking advantage of the poor & others unable to defend themselves."
In response, Pfizer said it would hold off on increasing prices on 100 drugs until year-end, or until a Trump administration plan to improve the U.S. healthcare system took effect, whichever event came sooner. Trump praised the company in a tweet that read, "we applaud Pfizer for this decision and hope other companies do the same. Great news for the American people!"
Without a "blueprint to lower drug prices" from the White House, Pfizer is moving ahead with its plans to increase prices on some drugs. The decision comes as little surprise, given in October, Read told investors in a conference call that Pfizer would go back to business as usual.
Trading up 0.9% on Monday at $43.90, Pfizer stock reflects a 21.2% increase YTD compared to the broader S&P 500's 1.3% over the same period.