Pfizer rolls back drug price hikes after Trump talks

President Donald Trump praised Pfizer on Tuesday for rolling back price increases on dozens of pharmaceutical drugs, one day after he publicly criticized the company’s price hikes.

“Just talked with Pfizer CEO and [U.S. Department of Health Secretary Alex Azar] on our drug pricing blueprint. Pfizer is rolling back price hikes, so American patients don’t pay more,” Trump wrote on Twitter. We applaud Pfizer for this decision and hope other companies do the same. Great news for the American people!”

The Financial Times and Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies had raised prices in recent days. For Pfizer, the increases on July 1 applied to more than 100 drugs, including Viagra, Norvasc blood pressure medication and lung cancer drug Xalkori. Some of the drug prices increased by double digit percentages.

Pfizer confirmed in a statement that it had decided to roll back the price increases after discussions between Trump and company CEO Ian Read. The pharmaceutical giant said the drugs will return to their pre-July 1 prices “as soon as technically possible” and stay in place until either the end of the year or until elements of the Trump-backed health care blueprint go into effect.

The Trump administration released a blueprint last May to lower the list prices and out-of-pocket costs associated with prescription drugs.

“Pfizer shares the President’s concern for patients and commitment to providing affordable access to the medicines they need,” Read said in a statement. “The most fundamental way the biopharmaceutical industry creates value is by discovering innovative medicines that help people live longer, healthier, more productive lives.”

“We are encouraged that the president recognizes the value our industry brings to society and our ability to fulfill our mission to discover and bring innovative new medicines to patients,” Read added.

Trump tweeted earlier this week that Pfizer and other companies that raised prices “should be ashamed,” adding that the companies were “merely taking advantage” of consumers.