By Kevin Kelleher
November 16, 2018

In July, Pfizer backtracked on its plans to raise prices on 100 drugs after President Trump criticized the move on Twitter. Now, The Wall Street Journal says, the pharma giant is planning again to raise prices on 41 drugs.

Pfizer intends to raise the list prices on about 10% of the drugs in its portfolio, The Journal said, citing an unnamed source. Most of the increases will be 5%, but three of the drugs will see a 3% increase and one will see a 9% increase.

Trump chided the drugmaker after a Financial Times story said it had raised some drug prices on July 1. “They are merely taking advantage of the poor & others unable to defend themselves,” said his tweet, which also threatened an unspecified response.

The following day, Prizer released a statement saying its CEO Ian Read had “an extensive discussion” with the president that led the company to “defer” the price increases while the White House drew up a plan to improve the U.S. healthcare system.

“The company will return these prices to their pre-July 1 levels as soon as technically possible, and the prices will remain in effect until the earlier of when the president’s blueprint goes into effect or the end of the year—whichever is sooner,” Pfizer said in the statement. That prompted Trump to praise the company in another tweet that read, “Great news for the American people!”

The end of the year is approaching, and Trump’s “blueprint to lower drug prices” has yet to translate into any infrastructure, so Pfizer appears to be moving ahead with higher prices on some drugs.

Back in July, Read told CNBC that the company backtracked on its initial plans to raise drug prices “[b]ecause we wanted to have a positive relationship with the Hill and administration as we go through this blueprint.”

But by October, it became clear that Pfizer would go back to raising drug prices. Read told investors in a conference call that Pfizer would return to business as usual. “Look, I don’t think our pricing situation has changed. I have at this moment in time no different view about how we will take price increases as we did last year,” he said.

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