Getting Away With Murder

“Pfizer & others should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason,” Trump posted on Twitter. “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!”

Trump criticizes Pfizer following price increase

DAN GOLDBERG07/09/2018 02:41 PM EDT

President Donald Trump on Monday launched a new attack on the pharmaceutical industry, singling out drug giant Pfizer for raising the price of medicines.

“Pfizer & others should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason,” Trump posted on Twitter. “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!”

Trump’s tweet comes six weeks after he announced that drugmakers would voluntarily offer “massive” price cuts, a pronouncement that took the industry by surprise.

Pfizer, one of the nation’s largest drugmakers, increased prices last week on 41 products, including Viagra. Several other manufacturers have increased prices as well, despite pressure from the White House.

The company, in a statement, said list prices for most of its medicines remain unchanged.

“Our portfolio includes more than 400 medicines and vaccines; we are modifying prices for approximately 10 percent of these, including some instances where we’re decreasing the price,” Pfizer said, adding that list prices don’t reflect what most patients or insurance companies pay due to rebates to payers and others in the supply chain.

Trump during his presidential campaign said drugmakers were “getting away with murder.” HHS Secretary Alex Azar has bemoaned “runaway price increases.”

The administration’s much-touted plan to control prices, released in May, was criticized for its lack of vision. It did not allow Americans to import drugs or sanction direct government price negotiations.

The White House employed a similar shaming strategy on Harley-Davidson, which announced it would move some production overseas following retaliatory tariffs imposed by the European Union.

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