Washington, DC — Just days following the midterm elections that gave Democrats control of the House of Representatives, the Wall Street Journal reports that Pfizer will resume jacking up prices while the Trump administration continues its repeal-and-sabotage agenda. Brad Woodhouse, executive director of Protect Our Care, issued the following statement in response:

“To no one’s surprise, now that the election is over, it’s back to business as usual for the drug companies, President Trump, and the Republicans who will allow them to charge consumers whatever they want for life-saving and sustaining prescription drugs. Not two weeks ago, voters delivered the House of Representatives to Democrats and elected scores of other Democrats to public office on the issue of health care — all in a repudiation of the Republicans’ repeal and sabotage agenda and their failure to do anything to address the high cost of prescription drugs.  Republicans might be living by the adage that they are going to dance with the one who brought them, but if they fail to work with the new Democratic majority in the House to address drug prices they may just be dancing their way out of office in two years time.”

 

BACKGROUND:

Wall Street Journal: Pfizer To Raise Prices On 41 Drugs In January. “Pfizer plans to raise the list prices of 41 of its prescription drugs, or 10 percent of its portfolio, in January, according to a person familiar with the matter. The plans mean Pfizer would resume its practice of raising drug list prices after the company rolled back some increases in July under criticism from President Trump.” [Wall Street Journal, 11/16/18]

Bloomberg: Pharma Earnings Reveal “Trump’s Most Visible Efforts To Strong-arm Them On Prices Hasn’t Caused Much Pain.” “Earnings are now in at most of the biggest pharmaceutical firms, and one thing is clear from their results: One of President Donald Trump’s most visible efforts to strong-arm them on prices hasn’t caused much pain. Pfizer Inc. was called out by Trump in a July tweet over mid-year price increases the drug giant pushed through on a number of its medicines, and the public shaming prompted the company to roll back the increases. That was followed by appeasement from other big pharma firms including Merck & Co., Novartis AG and Roche Holding AG. It’s been obvious from the start that these moves were cosmetic. Roche, for example, promised to forego further price increases this year only after it had already enacted hikes on some of its biggest sellers. But the earnings reports are further proof that efforts intended to mollify the president didn’t involve much if any sacrifice.” [Bloomberg, 10/31/18]

In October, Pfizer Announced That It Would Return To “Business As Normal,” Raising Prices Despite Trump Pressure. “Pfizer CEO Ian Read said the company will return to ‘business as normal’ on its drug pricing in January, after agreeing to hold off on price increases earlier this year following pressure from President Trump…Trump has touted his efforts to get drug companies to hold off on price increases. Fighting high drug prices has been a major focus of his presidency. Pfizer, though, affirmed on Tuesday that the price increases could return in January, given that the agreement only lasted until then.” [The Hill, 10/30/18]