Trump Thanks Novartis, Pfizer for Putting Off Drug Price Hikes

Ben Davidson
July 22, 2018

The statement came after Pfizer reversed and froze price increases on some drugs in the U.S. following president Donald Trump's social media spree. A spokesman for Novartis said the company notified the state of California, which has a new drug-price transparency law, of its decision in June but the news was not widely known.

Merck became the first drugmaker to voluntarily lower the costs of several drugs after President Donald Trump called out the pharmaceutical industry for raising prices and failing to make healthcare affordable for patients, according to Reuters.

Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan said that he did not have a direct talk with Trump on drug prices but said his company has been speaking to the federal Department of Health and Human Services about Trump's plan.

"We applaud Pfizer for this decision and hope other companies do the same", Trump said in a July 10 tweet.

Merck also says it will not raise the average price of drugs beyond the annual rate of inflation.

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

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In May, the Trump administration outlined a plan for lower prices, but critics have said it did not go far enough.

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

"Thank you to Novartis for not increasing your prices on prescription drugs", Trump said in an early morning tweet.

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

However the price cut may also be motivated by the increasingly competitive hepatitis C drug market - sales of Zepatier slumped in the last quarter.

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America spent $5.54 million between April and June, down 7.7 percent from the same period previous year, according to disclosures released by the federal government on Friday.

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