Pfizer Hikes 100 Drug Prices Despite Trump's Promise Of "Massive Cuts"

Despite the fanfare with which the White House unveiled its "American Patients First" initiative earlier this year, it appears American pharmaceutical giants didn't get the memo, and are still going ahead with their annual "price modifications." As the Financial Times reports, Pfizer, the largest drug company in the US, has raised prices on 100 products.

The price hikes were announce just weeks after President Trump claimed that US drug companies would soon announce "massive" voluntary price cuts. Pfizer's decision "threatens to fuel the backlash over the soaring cost of medicines used in the US" as the price increases hit some of the company's most popular drugs, including erectile-dysfunction drug "Viagra" (the "little blue pill").

The increases are effective as of July 1. In most cases, the increases are just over 9%, which is in line with the annual 10% price hikes adopted by most drug companies. Putting that number in context, core inflation printed at 2% last week.

Pfizer

While news of the price hikes occupied the headlines, Pfizer would like consumers to know that its price "modifications" also included lowering the prices of five drugs by between 16% and 44%. According to the FT, this is Pfizer's second round of price hikes this year.

Drug prices were a major issue during the 2016 campaign, with both Trump and his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. Last year, Trump accused the pharmaceutical industry of "getting away with murder." However, one insider pointed out that it's "business as usual" for the pharmaceutical industry as, when accounting for the increases in price as of January, some drug prices have risen by almost 20%.

"The latest increases signal that it is 'business as usual' rather than the voluntary concessions that Trump indicated were coming," said Michael Rea, chief executive of Rx Savings Solutions, which makes software that helps employers and health insurers lower the amount they spend on prescription drugs.

Viagra and Chantix have endured price hikes of 20% and 17%, respectively, so far this year. Pfizer defended its decision by arguing that the "list price" for most of its inventory remains untouched. Furthermore, insurers and customers rarely pay the sticker price.

Pfizer said: "The list price remains unchanged for the majority of our medicines. We are modifying prices for 10 per cent of our medicines, including some instances where we’re decreasing the price."

"List prices do not reflect what most patients or insurance companies pay," the company added, pointing out that the net price increase - which accounts for discounts and rebates — was expected to be in the “low single digits."

In response to scrutiny from politicians, most pharmaceutical companies have switched from raising drug prices twice per year to raising prices once per year, and Pfizer certainly hasn't been the only company to hike prices this month. Of course, bringing the pharmaceutical companies to heel will be no easy task for the administration, as the industry spends more on lobbying than the next two biggest spenders combined.

Lobbying

Comments

HillaryOdor Richard Chesler Mon, 07/02/2018 - 08:55 Permalink

1) eliminate IP law and the protection racket known as the FDA

2) watch drug prices plummet as everything has multiple generic versions

3) prosper with cheap drugs

 

Or

1) bitch and moan about how people playing by the rules of a rigged game aren't doing what you want

2) demand more government. Who wants cheap drugs anyway. Cheap labor is bad, right?

3) lose what little you have left 

In reply to by Richard Chesler

pods HillaryOdor Mon, 07/02/2018 - 10:52 Permalink

That is not the problem. If you removed IP protections, nobody would do anything but make generic drugs.

Development would come to a screeching halt. (some may want that, as many drugs are just excuse pills)

The problem is the USA pays development and production costs+profit, while most of the rest of the world pays production costs+profit.  My theory on this is that the USA condones this due to it having the world's reserve currency.

If the current state of affairs moves to all paying dev+production+profit, most all socialized health systems would collapse overnight.

So my theory is that this is an agreement between governments. And we pay the price for it.

(The bulk of drug development is done in the USA as well, so this could play a partial role. Money is spent here developing, so we shoulder more of the burden in prices.  That is my second theory)

pods

In reply to by HillaryOdor

HillaryOdor pods Mon, 07/02/2018 - 12:08 Permalink

Wrong.  The idea that research would stop is your assumption based on your presumption that the state intervention is effective at spurring innovation in the first place, which it isn't.  It's the opposite.  It is just part of your religion, your brainwashing.  It is not reality.

But even if it were true, and I'm not conceding that it might be, just saying if it were, it wouldn't matter anyway because IP law is immoral.  What's right is more important than what's convenient.  IP law is incompatible with real capitalism and with any attempt at a rational basis for morality, e.g. natural law.

In reply to by pods

mophead Daves Not Here Mon, 07/02/2018 - 08:24 Permalink

If drug companies are raising drug prices while Drumpf is pressuring them to do the opposite, then it can only mean one thing: there is (potential) weakness in drug sales and this is all a big infomercial. After regular and sometimes steep increases, a flavor of the month savior (drumpf) will step in and DEMAND price reductions, then it will make headlines, and the drug companies will agree to reduce prices (though not by much). Then every tom dick harry moron will go to the doctor to take advantage of the discounted drugs, which will certainly not make them healthier, only worse, which can only mean one thing: even bigger profits. None of you get it. All punked again. Same thing with the Harley Davidson fiasco. It’s an infomercial/newsmercial.

In reply to by Daves Not Here

swmnguy mophead Mon, 07/02/2018 - 12:47 Permalink

I work coordinating corporate meetings and events.  I've been doing a ton of Pharmaceutical events the past few years.  They have plenty of money to spend on parties for themselves.

The Pharma's aren't the least bit concerned about Trump.  Last year, when there was all that talk about "Repeal and Replace," I did 4 Pharma events, and not one of them contained a single mention of the possibility they had anything to be worried about.  I did another event about when Trump promised huge price cuts within 30 days, a few months ago.  Not a word from the Pharma execs, nor a single question about it from attendees.

They all know the US healthcare finance system is toast and has been for nearly 2 decades.  The annual 10%+ premium increases in the same policy we endured from 2000-2008 were the death knell.  "ObamaCare" was the band-aid on the sucking chest wound, which put the federal government in position to further bail out the Finance sector; that's all that was.  And the way the Finance sector adapted was to jack up deductibles, and continue to get out of the Individual market in favor of large employer groups.

Anybody who has paid attention to healthcare finance for the past 30 years knows it's a bubble.  Continuing to keep Finance at the middle of the system, and to place the burden on US employers, is a looting operation that can't be sustained much longer.  None of the foreign competitors to American businesses have the same burden.  It's a huge competitive disadvantage.

The next stock market collapse is overdue.  When a large-enough number of Americans are put out of work and lose their heavily-subsidized health insurance coverage, then we'll see some real attention paid.  Most US employees have no idea how much their health insurance really costs.  They think they're burdened, paying $500/month to cover a family of 4.  They have no idea their employer is paying $1,500 a month too.  Wait 'til they get laid off, and get that first COBRA statement, billing them $2,400 or so per month.  Then they can look on their local "Exchange" and see a $10,000 deductible policy that doesn't cover many, many issues, and costs $1,100/mo.

Pharma and medical device and facility management companies aren't the least bit worried about Trump's bluster.  They know they've got America by the balls, because neither Democrats nor Republicans will do anything to inconvenience the Finance sector Oligarchs.

Maybe a crisis will change things, but it's going to have to be a serious crisis.  The Medical/Finance complex owns the FDA with Trump's approval, they own the insurance sector, they own pharma, they own the hospitals and clinics; they simply can't lose and no politician will do a thing until there are a million people in the streets demanding that we open Medicare to everyone.

In reply to by mophead

brushhog boostedhorse Mon, 07/02/2018 - 07:34 Permalink

Great things ARE happening. A little off topic but you know half the people on prescription drugs shouldnt be on them anyway. All those statin drugs that they found dont even work. For years if your bloodpressure was found to be slightly elevated theyd put you on a drug, now they admit that taking drugs for slight hypertension doesnt do anything. All those psychiatric drugs that half the people on them are screwing themselves up even worse. They gave me a proton pump inhibator for some stomach pain I was having, screwed my whole system up. Getting off the drug was more painful than the ailment is was prescribed to treat. My grandmother took no drugs her whole life, and the prescribed everything from steroids, to arthritis drugs, to high blood pressure meds, she refused to take any of it....lived to be 103.

In reply to by boostedhorse

notfeelinthebern brushhog Mon, 07/02/2018 - 07:41 Permalink

No kidding. The first thing done at a Dr's appt is to screen everybody for depression. ..."in the past two weeks have you shown any lack of interest.." - that's when I cut them off at the pass with a very curt: "I'm good"...Fuckers! Wonder how much lobbying funds were used to get that b.s. passed. Far less I imagine than they will take in, in increased anti-depression drug sales.

In reply to by brushhog

GoozieCharlie notfeelinthebern Mon, 07/02/2018 - 19:50 Permalink

It took me about 60 years to realize it (those 25 million dollar-to-produce, Hollywood pharmaceutical ads of ALL types convinced me) I've been stably, consistently, poquito depressed all my life!  Big effing deal. It's normal for me. If my mood ever goes above zero on the ordinate, and I start acting like the silly goons in those commercials, babe, that's when I actually begin to doubt my judgement.  But it took those stupid commercials for me to even know what, these days, what is it that constitutes "depression" that everybody these days keeps yammering about - everywhere you look.

Asking you if you're depressed the minute you step into a doctor's office for a totally unrelated malady reminds me of the placement of the word "medical" in front of the word "marijuana."   You realize, of course doctors (aside from those few hand-selected, who have a particular "business or political arrangement") did not propose either of those above things.  They surely never asked any of the dozens of real live practicing doctors I know personally, or me.  Non-medical people put the word "medical" in front of "marijuana."  (btw, I'm all for just legalizing and taxing it - just do it already)

First off, any doctor worth his salt can tell if someone is depressed without ever asking a patient if they are (it's futile to just come out and ask, unprovoked, because most will lie anyway [who wants to get committed?]; then there are always the few that would like some "uppers" and you don't have to ask them)

Politicians and lawyers (and some clever businessmen) proposed and carried out putting the word "medical" in front of the word marijuana; not doctors.  This is important to note.  Your healthcare is now essentially 97% in the hands of people who (for all we know) couldn't even pass a HS biology course - a very common precursor to entering the business, legal, or political fields.  I've seen it at least a dozen times.

Maltomillion dollar Hollywood productions (and, you realize that in addition to producing them, they pay to put those ads on, each and every time they come on TV, or appear in a paper, magazine, website, etc).  And YOU pay for that! 

What is it with people?  Guys I know cry all the time about how much their boner pills cost, but when I mention this fact...crickets.

In reply to by notfeelinthebern

brushhog DingleBarryObummer Mon, 07/02/2018 - 08:15 Permalink

Because its so hard to get off of them. I was on them for several months, getting off was like three weeks of hell. It actually CREATES a problem for which it is the only solution. I almost caved in several times and went back on them. Everything I ate was like swallowing a red-hot coal. It would burn for hours after eating. Its taken like a month now and I can finally eat small meals, spaced about 6-7 hours apart with minimal discomfort.

In reply to by DingleBarryObummer

DingleBarryObummer brushhog Mon, 07/02/2018 - 07:53 Permalink

They gave me a proton pump inhibator for some stomach pain I was having, screwed my whole system up.

The PPI drugs are one of the biggest and most egregious scams in the history of mankind, IMO.  IIRC Like 1/25 people take them.  It's a massive, massive demographic.  And yes, they might offer a little relief in the short term but they just systematically fuck up your entire physiology in the long term.

In reply to by brushhog

Killdo brushhog Mon, 07/02/2018 - 08:29 Permalink

true 

a friend who was one of US best architect died a few years ago from those statin drugs. He was starting to faint more and more and he finally collapsed once and went into coma and died at the age of 52. His Hollywood celebrity doctor prescribed statins because one of this late friend's old uncles (still alive) had slightly elevated cholesterol. I met him at the funeral he is about 85 - he takes no statis. 

I've seen American doctors push hard for Prozac and other crap (to people who are not depressed). It's criminal what they do

My great grand mother was like yours - took no medications and lived until almost 100

In reply to by brushhog

thunderchief boostedhorse Mon, 07/02/2018 - 07:36 Permalink

They are the Kingpin drug dealer, and the electorate are the users and the politicians, like Trump, are toothless in the face of their mafia leutenents, the lobbyists. 

These drug companies now sell heroin equivalent to the general population, called opioids.

They are laughing at us all.

In reply to by boostedhorse

junction boostedhorse Mon, 07/02/2018 - 07:39 Permalink

Some nine years ago, Pfizer shut down its research facility at New London, CT. costing 1,400 employees their jobs.  More recently, Pfizer laid off 300 employees in Groton, CT.  Pfizer intends to outsource its drug research to a new research facility in Shanghai, China in the future.  Meanwhile, the CDC and the FDA continue to suppress news about the severe side effects of Viagra, Pfizer's blockbuster statin.   

On another subject, Harper's has a great story on the death of New York City, a city ruined by overbuilding and crooked politicians.

https://harpers.org/archive/2018/07/the-death-of-new-york-city-gentrifi…

In reply to by boostedhorse

Dirtnapper Pollygotacracker Mon, 07/02/2018 - 09:32 Permalink

Cholesterol is basically meaningless, lining in the arteries is the issue, typically inflammation allowing the lining to thin and allow stuff to stick.  Cholesterol is needed by the brain since the brain is basically made up of fatty acids.  Starve the brain of it's basic building blocks while doing basically nothing to repair the artery wall lining as they steal you blind.  Got Alz in your family?  Last thing I would ever do is swallow a Statin.

In reply to by Pollygotacracker

AGuy Pollygotacracker Mon, 07/02/2018 - 12:38 Permalink

"Statins are for treating high cholesterol."

Nope: Statins the treat the symptoms of high cholestrol. To treat high cholesterol, one simply needs to avoid or reduce processed foods, red meat, and exercise more. The problem is that the solution does not sell drugs and doctor visits. Eat better, exercise more, and keep more $$$ in your wallet while getting healther at the same time.

In reply to by Pollygotacracker

hooligan2009 Mon, 07/02/2018 - 07:29 Permalink

must be worried about not being able to make 30 million this year.

Pfizer Lifts CEO's Pay 61% to $27.9 Million With Retention Bonus

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-15/pfizer-lifts-ceo-s-p…

In addition to the retention award, Pfizer granted Read a $1.96 million salary, $2.6 million bonus and $13.1 million of equity awards

the other poor bastards don't make anywhere near as much "blackmailing thirsty people for water"

https://www1.salary.com/PFIZER-INC-Executive-Salaries.html

PFIZER INC

Compensation by Company

For its 2017 fiscal year, PFIZER INC, listed the following executives on its annual proxy statement to the SEC

M. Dolsten  President, Worldwide Research and Development $6,338,006J.

Young  Group President, Pfizer Essential Health

$10,349,610A.

Bourla  Group President, Pfizer Innovative Health

$6,068,632I.

Read  Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

$26,165,138

D'Amelio  EVP, Business Operations and Chief Financial Office $6.340,895