Trump Falsely Claims Credit For Lowering Drug Prices
July 23, 2018
Trump has repeatedly falsely tried to claim credit for negotiating lower drug prices. Like Trump, none of the drug companies he has touted have taken any meaningful steps to actually lower prices. In fact, prescription drug prices continue to skyrocket.
Trump thanked Novartis, but the company only said that it would hold off on drug increases temporarily and did not commit to reducing costs.
CNN Money: “The Swiss company said Wednesday that it would not raise prices this year in the United States, days after its rival Pfizer came under pressure from Trump. ‘We thought the prudent thing to do was to pull back on any further price increases in 2018 and evaluate as the environment evolves,’ Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan told Bloomberg on Wednesday.”
Despite Trump trying to claim credit for Pfizer lowering costs, the company agreed to only postpone its latest round of drug price increases.
New York Times: “Pfizer, the giant multinational drug company, said on Tuesday that it would defer some price increases, after President Trump thrashed the company in a Twitter post.”
Merck did not take steps to significantly lower prices or stem the rise in price increases on its key products – one of the only significant price cuts is for a drug no one is buying.
Los Angeles Times’ Michael Hiltzik: “Not a single one of these initiatives will do anything significant to lower prices or even stem the rise in key products. The pledge on average net prices amounts to a huge loophole allowing Merck to hike the price at will of the drugs it really cares about. In other words, this is a bogus commitment, just like Pfizer’s pledge a few days ago to roll back some of its recent price increases … temporarily.”
Los Angeles Times’ Michael Hiltzik: “Zepatier sales peaked last year at about $1.7 billion and had fallen so low by the first quarter of this year that the company essentially listed the drug’s U.S. sales in its quarterly financial report as zero.”
Trump has yet to show any meaningful action to lower drug prices as costs continue to rise.
Bloomberg: “Trump Fails At Lowering Drug Prices As Costs Keep Going Up”
Politico: “Bayer raised the price of two cancer drugs by hundreds of dollars in May and Novartis followed by boosting four pricey treatments in June. Pfizer, one of the largest U.S. pharmaceutical companies, announced increases on more than 41 products this week. They weren't alone. A Wells Fargo report found 104 price increases in June and the first two days of July, with an average jump of 31.5 percent and a median increase of 9.4 percent. That followed 48 increases in May. The list price hikes don’t factor in discounts that companies may provide to some insurance companies and patients.”