"Pfizer & others should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason. 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!" the president said.
President Donald Trump singled out the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer in a tweet on Monday, sending shares lower by a little more than 1% before partially rebounding.
"Pfizer & others should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason," Trump tweeted. "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!"
The Financial Times reported last Monday that Pfizer had increased the price of 100 of its products, including Viagra. Pfizer wasn't the only drugmaker to raise the list price of its medication, though according to a note Monday from Morgan Stanley, Pfizer was one of four pharmaceutical companies that had taken two rounds of price increases on eight of their drugs in 2018.
Pfizer said in a statement that the company was modifying the prices of 10% of the drugs in its portfolio, including in some cases lowering the price:
"The list price remains unchanged for the majority of our medicines. Our portfolio includes more than 400 medicines and vaccines; we are modifying prices for approximately 10% of these, including some instances where we're decreasing the price. Importantly, list prices do not reflect what most patients or insurance companies pay. In the first quarter of 2018 the net selling price increase was 0% due to the growing amount of rebates paid back to stakeholders in the biopharmaceutical supply chain."
It's not the first time the president has addressed the rising cost of prescription drugs, nor the first time he's singled out a particular company.
In August, amid Merck CEO Ken Frazier's withdrawal from Trump's manufacturing council, Trump tweeted that the move would give Frazier more time to "LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!"
And in May, the Trump administration came out with a plan to lower drug prices. Later, Trump said he expected some drugmakers to take "voluntary massive drops in prices." Those have yet to materialize.