Trump Tweeted Pfizer Should Be 'Ashamed.' Pfizer Responds

After meeting between Trump and Pfizer CEO Ian Read, company says it will defer price hikes
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2018 8:22 AM CDT
After Trump Meeting, Pfizer CEO Defers Price Hikes
In this Nov. 23, 2015, file photo, the Pfizer logo is displayed at its world headquarters in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Last week, Pfizer jacked up the price for several dozen prescription drugs; this week it received a dressing down from President Trump. Now, per the Wall Street Journal, the pharmaceuticals giant has responded to his criticism with a postponement on those price hikes after the company said CEO Ian Read had a sit-down with Trump on Tuesday. "The company will return these prices to their pre-July 1 levels as soon as technically possible," Pfizer announced in a statement, vowing to keep them in place until the end of 2018 or until Trump can implement a new price-reducing plan (whichever comes first). "We applaud Pfizer for this decision and hope other companies do the same. Great news for the American people!," the president tweeted Tuesday evening after Pfizer's decision. It was a major change in tone from his tweet the previous day, in which he blasted the company.

"Pfizer & others should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason," he wrote Monday. "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!" NPR notes lowering drug costs had been part of Trump's 2016 campaign, and in May, the White House issued a "blueprint" to do so. NBC News reports HHS Secretary Alex Azar was also in attendance at the meeting between Trump and Read, a Trump supporter the Journal describes as "an odd target of Mr. Trump's ire and unlikely executive to buckle under a president's criticism." Fortune expresses caution on the possibly temporary price reversal, noting the Trump administration's pricing blueprint had a "lack of detail" that "left many skeptical" it could force Big Pharma's hand. (More Pfizer stories.)

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