Published: Sun, July 22, 2018
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Trump Thanks Novartis, Pfizer for Putting Off Drug Price Hikes

Trump Thanks Novartis, Pfizer for Putting Off Drug Price Hikes

In response to a congressional inquiry, Novartis said it planned to raise the prices of some drugs this year.

Merck is the first major pharmaceutical company to actually lower its drug prices in the wake of the Trump administration's drug-pricing plan, which was unveiled in May, as Pfizer and Novartis simply deferred future price increases.

Facing pressure from the Trump administration and lawmakers, Swiss drugmaker Novartis has also halted anticipated price increases.

Both Pfizer and Novartis have said that they will not take the price increases that the industry typically takes at the end of the second quarter, and will instead hold off on those increases until next year.

"We thought that was prudent, given the dynamic environment we're now in", he said on the call, according to multiple reports.

The move by Merck comes after Pfizer announced price hikes for almost three dozen drugs only to reverse course amid public pressure from President Donald Trump.

The recent price freeze statements were very well received by the president, who used the same social media channel to applaud drug makers.

The decision comes a little over a week after President Donald J. Trump singled out rival Pfizer over its price increases.

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

We are also lowering our price on ZEPATIER by 60 percent and several other medicines by 10 percent to reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients across the country.

Alex Azar, Health and Human Services Secretary responded to this news with a statement: "The president's blueprint for lower drug prices is working, drug prices are coming down, and American patients are going to see the savings in their pocketbook. We welcome Merck's decision to reduce prices and restrain future price hikes". For context, Merck brought in $8 million in U.S sales during just the first quarter from its statin Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin), which went generic in the beginning of 2017.

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