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Pfizer to resume price hiking in 2019; 41 drugs set to increase

Published on 20/11/18 at 10:45am

American pharma firm Pfizer has revealed plans to increase the prices of 41 medicines, the equivalent of 10% of its entire drug portfolio, as of 15 January, 2019.

The decision comes just months after the multinational firm backed down in response to criticism from President Donald Trump over price increases on life saving drugs.

Although Pfizer agreed to halt price hikes – after Trump condemned “Pfizer & others” for “taking advantage of the poor & others unable to defend themselves” – in July of this year; Scottish-born CEO Ian Read last month revealed that the New York-based company would be returning to “business as normal” in January 2019.

The company did however seem anxious in the announcement of their new round of price hikes, as they sought to make clear that just 41 medicines would see their prices increase. Meanwhile the average increase in list price was said to be just 5% with all but three products seeing only a 3% increase, the company said.

The company further sought to justify their decision in stating: “These list price increases are expected to be offset by higher rebates and discounts paid to Insurance Companies and Pharmacy Benefit Managers and the net effect on revenue growth in the U.S. in 2019 is expected to be zero.  Given the higher rebates and discounts, we expect that the healthcare system will share those benefits with patients so they do not experience higher costs for their medicines. In 2018 the net impact of price increases on revenue growth is projected to be a negative 1 percent in the U.S compared with 2017.”

Pfizer CEO, Ian Read, who is soon to be succeeded by current COO Albert Bourla, commented: “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.”  

Read’s statement comes after the pharma exec said that he believed the Trump administration would eliminate rebates on prescription drug purchases. “I do believe that removal of the rebates will be a priority,” Read said in an interview with the Associated Press.

Louis Goss

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