Trump thanks Novartis, Pfizer for not hiking drug prices

22 Juillet, 2018, 01:39 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Major drug-maker promises to limit price increases	 	 	 			Merck sign outside of their New Jersey headquarters

Swiss firm Novartis followed, pledging not to raise drug prices in the United States this year.

"The President and his Administration look forward to continuing its work with Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies to reform the policies that are driving up prescription drug prices for all Americans", said Hogan Gidley, deputy White House press secretary.

Vasant Narasimhan, Novartis' CEO, addressed journalists saying that the company made the decision to "withdraw any further price increases" and also made a commitment "not to take any further price increases for the remainder of 2018".

However the price cut may also be motivated by the increasingly competitive hepatitis C drug market - sales of Zepatier slumped in the last quarter. In 2017, Merck issued its second annual Pricing Action Transparency Report, which showed that net prices across Merck's US product portfolio declined by 1.9 percent.

Trump has pressured drug companies to keep prices low, and met with Pfizer after it announced price increases for more than 100 drugs. "We thought that was prudent, given the dynamic environment we're now in", he said.

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Fox News Medical A Team's Dr. Marc Siegel on how pharmaceutical giant Pfizer agreed to postpone drug price hikes after President Trump attacked the company on Twitter.

Pfizer's July 1 hike was already its second this year after it raised prices on 41 drugs in January, according to Wells Fargo analyst David Maris, FiercePharma reported. The company will drop the price of Zepatier, a Hepatitis C drug, by 60%, and decrease the costs of "several other" drugs by 10%.

However, his administration did little until May, when it rolled out its 44-page "blueprint" for increasing competition, reducing regulations and changing the incentives for all players in the drug industry.

Amid scrutiny over big pharma drug pricing, Merck said on Thursday it would lower the price of some of its medications.

In May, the Trump administration outlined a plan for lower prices, but critics have said it did not go far enough. In a 65 percent decline from previous year, Zepatier brought in $131 million in global sales in the first quarter of 2018.

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