Trump Forces World's 3rd Largest Pharm Comp to Stop Drug Price Hikes

While the elitist left throws tantrums about a Supreme Court justice, President Trump gets results for working people. There could hardly be a bigger contrast between Trump's pursuit of issues that truly matter, fighting crime, creating jobs and making life better for people, and the left's obsession with the D.C. bubble of Mueller, Mueller and Mueller.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer on Tuesday announced that it would roll back planned drug price increases for July — following a discussion with President Donald Trump, who had just criticized the company on Twitter a day before.

The president said he and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar met with Pfizer CEO Ian Read to discuss Trump's "drug pricing blueprint" and came away with a vow from the company to roll back price increases "so American patients don’t pay more."

A Pfizer statement added details, explaining that its prices would be "deferred" to levels seen 10 days ago "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."

The president's plan to lower drug prices, which was detailed in May, is an initiative meant to fulfill a campaign promise. It seeks to increase competition among drug companies, have better government negotiations with pharmaceutical representatives, and to create incentives that would reduce patients' costs

On June 12 U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., expressed doubt that Trump could prod Big Pharma to lower prices within weeks, as he had promised at the end of May.

Liz Warren ought to have stuck to going after asbestos victims and padding the cushy offices of the CFPB elite. Meanwhile here's some interesting news out of Pfizer.

Pfizer said on Wednesday it would reorganize into three units, separating its consumer health-care business that the U.S. drugmaker has been trying to sell since last year.

The news comes a day after the company decided to defer drug price increases for no more than six months, following criticism from President Donald Trump for raising list prices of some medicines.

The units would be Innovative Medicines, Established Medicines and Consumer Healthcare. The company is currently split into two units - Innovative Medicines, which includes the consumer business, and Essential Health.

The company said in October last year that it was considering the sale or spin-off of the consumer healthcare business, which is worth about $15 billion. In May, Pfizer said that it had not received an acceptable offer.

The business consists of products ranging from Advil to lip balms.

The Established Medicines unit would include the majority of the company's off-patent brands, including Viagra and neurological disease treatment Lyrica as well as some generic drugs.

Established Medicines is at the center of the controversy. Raising prices on new medications is more defensible than the constant price hikes on old, established medications that people have come to depend on. And those hikes can't be justified by the cost of research anymore.  

Around 100 of Pfizer’s drugs got higher list prices this week, the Financial Times first reported. The affected drugs include big sellers, such as Lyrica pain capsules, Chantix smoking-cessation medication, Norvasc blood-pressure pills, and the lung-cancer treatment Xalkori.

The price hikes mark a second round of increases for Pfizer this year. While many of the price changes in the individual rounds hover at or under 10 percent—many at 9.4 percent—the hikes collectively boost many drugs’ prices by double-digit percentages for the year overall. For instance, Chantix’s price jumped nearly 17 percent this year; Pfizer gave it a 9.4 percent increase in January and another seven percent boost July 1, bringing the list price of a 56-tablet bottle to $429, the Wall Street Journal noted. 

These are not new medications. The price hikes have to do with the famously impermeable, convoluted and occasionally fraudulent nature of the modern medical industry. And every reform thus far has only made it more so. That needs to change.