President Trump once convinced drug manufacturer Pfizer to curb its price hikes. This time, he may not be so lucky.
America's biggest drug manufacturer announced Friday it would increase prices on 10 percent of its prescriptions in January, Bloomberg reports. The move comes after Republicans lost the House in last week's midterms — something experts suggest isn't a coincidence.
The price hike affects 41 prescription drugs in Pfizer's portfolio, The Wall Street Journal has learned. Most of the drugs will see a 5 percent price increase, but some could be up to 9 percent. "Newly approved medicines and sterile injectables" aren't included in the hike, the Journal writes.
Pfizer announced a similar increase on more than 40 drugs back in July, with many slated for price hikes of 9.4 percent and even higher. Trump quickly criticized the move on Twitter, and after a conversation between the president and Pfizer CEO Ian Read, Pfizer said it would delay the increases "to give the president an opportunity to work on his blueprint to strengthen the health-care system."
After Friday's revelation, Andy Slavitt, the former head of Medicare and Medicaid, suggested in a tweet that Pfizer was "back to business" now that the midterms are over. After all, Democrats will soon take over the House, limiting Trump's ability to revamp the health-care system. Trump also still hasn't enacted his plan to lower drug costs, Bloomberg notes. And Read, who the Journal says "supports the Trump administration," is stepping down as Pfizer's CEO in January.
A spokeswoman for Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar criticized the move, telling Bloomberg it shows the "perverse incentives of America's drug pricing system." Kathryn Krawczyk