Trump Criticizes Pfizer for Raising Drug Prices

July 10, 2018, 4:32 PM UTC

President Donald Trump criticized Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies for raising prices in a tweet Monday afternoon, vowing that the government would respond. His comments appear to be motivated by a Financial Times piece stating that Pfizer raised their prices on 100 different drugs at the start of the month.

“Pfizer & others should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason,” said Trump. “They are merely taking advantage of the poor & others unable to defend themselves.”

Dean Mastrojohn, a Pfizer spokesman, told the Washington Post that the company’s “price list remains unchanged for the majority of our medicines.” He reported that Pfizer was “modifying prices” for around 10% of its 400 medicines, but added “list prices do not reflect what most patients or insurance companies pay.”

In May, the Trump administration released a plan to combat rising pharmaceutical prices through regulations, but avoided taking aggressive direct action. Later that month, Trump claimed the report would led to “voluntary massive drops in prices,” says Reuters, but no such drops ever came.

The Financial Times reported Pfizer dropped prices on five medications, but raised prices on 100 medicines. Price jumps—effective July 1—were usually over 9%, well above the U.S. inflation rate of 2%.

According to MarketWatch, Pfizer’s shares initially dipped after Trump’s tweet, but rebounded and ended the day up 0.13%.

Trump, a longtime critic of rising drug prices, has previously suggested the government negotiate drug prices and allow the importing of prescription drugs from overseas—both moves that would hurt the pharmaceutical companies at home.