Pfizer to hike prices of 41 prescription drugs next year

Pfizer to hike prices of 41 prescription drugs next year

American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer will raise the price of more than 40 of its prescription drugs next year, the company announced on Friday.

Pfizer rolled back a price hike over the summer, in response to pressure and criticism from President Trump. The company did name the drugs in line for price hikes. The increases will mostly be around 5 percent, though three drugs will see a 3 percent rise in cost and one will cost 9 percent more.

It was not immediately clear whether other drugmakers plan to follow suit.

The pharma expects the net effect of the increases on revenue growth to be zero due to higher rebates and discounts that it plans to offer to insurers - an example of how closely linked drug pricing is to opaque negotiation between drugmakers and payers.

Chief Executive Ian Read said in the statement that the company believes the best way to make drugs more affordable is by focusing on reducing out-of-pocket costs and returning rebates to consumers.

The Department of Health & Human Services said that its secretary, Alex Azar, and Trump "will continue to take bold action to restructure this broken market".

Pfizer did not tip off the administration that the latest round of price increases was coming, according to a source familiar with the matter.

US officials aren't happy: The move illustrates the "perverse incentives of America's drug pricing system", said a spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

In July, Pfizer backtracked on its plans to raise prices on 100 drugs after President Trump criticized the move on Twitter.

"However, given how public the previous rebuke was, we think this [will] enflame the debate around drug pricing", Maris said, "especially since it comes less than two weeks following an election that resulted in Democrat control of the House with many having run on drug-price-controls/Medicare-for-All platforms". Both Trump and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who is vying to reclaim her post as House speaker, mentioned it the day after the midterm elections last week.

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