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Pharma Giant Unveils New Plan Despite Trump Slam

Pfizer is raising prices on 10% of its drugs
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2018 5:35 PM CST

(Newser) – Give it to Pfizer—they waited a while. The pharmaceutical giant is raising the price of 41 prescription drugs after hitting the pause button this summer when President Trump opposed a price hike, reports CNBC. Most prices are slated to rise 5%, while Stocks Beat says the pain drug Lyrica will go up 9% and Viagra nearly 13%. These are advertised prices, which may differ from what insurers fork out after discounts. "We believe the best means to address affordability of medicines is to reduce the growing out-of-pocket costs that consumers are facing due to high deductibles and co-insurance, and ensure that patients receive the benefit of rebates at the pharmacy counter," says outgoing Pfizer CEO Ian Read. About 10% of Pfizer's drug prices are slated to rise.

Pfizer initially rolled out a price-hike plan in July and ran headlong into a Trump tweet: "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. ... We will respond!" Pfizer quickly backtracked, saying it shared "the President's concern for patients" and would hold off until Trump enacted a plan to curb drug prices, or the year ended—whichever came first, per the Wall Street Journal. Trump has announced a plan, and Pfizer's hike is slated for Jan. 15. Mostly unimplemented, Trump's plan is one thing he and Democrats may just agree on, notes Politico. (A $96 billion deal may reshape health care as we know it.)

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