Trump Slams Pfizer, Warns "We Will Respond" To Rising Drug Prices

Once again, with the swipe of a few digits, President Trump has knocked a few billion in market cap of stocks as he tweeted that Pfizer and others "should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason," criticizing the company for offering cheaper prices abroad than in the U.S. and pledging that "we will respond."

The response was swift - PFE erasing the day's gains and weighing on The Dow...

As Bloomberg reports, Trump has promised repeatedly to drive down drug prices, to little effect so far. Earlier this month, the Financial Times reported that Pfizer had raised prices on about 100 drugs, following a pattern of regular increases that the company takes each year.


hedgeless_horseman Mon, 07/09/2018 - 13:17 Permalink


We print fiat currency, and then when the price of stuff priced in fiat currency goes up, we act surprised.

When it is stuff we like to see go up in price, like the stock market, we take responsibility.

When it is stuff we don't like to see go up, like medicine, we blame others.

What is the con?  The con is that economic growth is both good and real.  It is most often neither.  The long con is nominal returns versus real returns. 

What keeps the con going?  Apart from greed?  Money printing.  

Please, understand that if the amount of money in a closed system doubles, the value of each monetary unit halves, and the price of everything, including stocks, increases 100%.…


NeedleDickTheB… Mon, 07/09/2018 - 13:29 Permalink

Real estate developers, including myself, should be ashamed that they have inflated the prices of real estate over many years for no reason. They are merely taking advantage of the middle class & others unable to defend themselves, while taking advantage of the largess provided by central banking here and abroad. We will respond!

Giant Meteor Mon, 07/09/2018 - 13:29 Permalink

The AMA, in conjunction with big pharma, in short the medical, pharmaceutical industrial racket/complex, has convinced a willing, easily led to the slaughter public, they need drugs, lot's and lot's of drugs, new drugs all the time, to survive, have quality of life .. Which sadly, for more than a few, has become a reality. Of course there always was, and continues to be great incentive in creating a sickened, toxic society, dependent upon miracle drugs in a an entirely manipulated market ..

We could call this, the doom loop ...

Giant Meteor lasvegaspersona Mon, 07/09/2018 - 14:44 Permalink

"Just as the oligarchs buy, own and control national governments to do their sleazy bidding, Big Pharma as an extension of those same oligarchs does too. Perhaps what makes Big Pharma unique in the US is that the industry outspends all others in laying down cold hard cash into its lobbying efforts – another word for bribing governments that includes not only US Congress (and parliaments) but its US federal regulator, the bought and sold Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It poured $2.7 billion into its lobbying interests from 1998 to 2013, 42% more than the second most “Gov. Corp.” bribe which happens to be its sister industry insurance."

"And it’s this unholy trinity of the medical establishment (personified by the American Medical Association), embedded insurance industry that wrote Obamacare into law and Big Pharma that makes the United States the most costly, broken, corrupt, destructive healthcare system in the entire world. The structured system is designed and layered with built in incentives at every tier to make and keep people sick, chronically dependent on their drugs for survival that merely mask and smother symptoms rather than cure or eradicate the root cause of disease."

As to your other point, sure, lot's of folks are living longer. Many as cash cows. Beasts to be preyed upon further, longer. The money is not in the cure. The money is in the promise of a cure .. and maintenance, and better living through modern chemistry.

Another case could be made, contemporary living is breeding disease, new disease, and resistance to diseases, like fucking bunny rabbits .. But let's be honest, like with her sister racket, the street pusher, the drug dealer has no incentive to break the drug habit, but all every incentive to create, maintain and sell to increasing numbers of addicts.

And then there of course another issue, such thing as quality of life. Lot's of extra measures taken to delay, avoid the inevitable, in many cases far beyond what may be considered reasonable or prudent .. ..

Lastly, I've seen the commercials, as I know you have. I swear to christ there is a new fad disease, drug invented daily, many of which carry a laundry list of the potential "side effects" up to and including "death."

edit: Apologies lasvegas, I believe I was additionally responding to Mr. Schmilkies in this rant .. re: people living longer ..

In reply to by lasvegaspersona

ludwigvmises Mon, 07/09/2018 - 13:32 Permalink

The Western European healthcare system is WAY better, cheaper and more efficient than ours. A massive disgrace for our cleptocracy of overpaid doctors and rip off healthcare companies.

Yippie21 ludwigvmises Mon, 07/09/2018 - 13:48 Permalink

Just wait a few years.  Western Europe is losing the teat in the US and " new world order " that provided all that cheap socialized medicine.  Let's see how awesome things are in Europe in 10 years.  I'm betting that the situation in the US will have greatly improved once we're free from subsidizing the globalist agenda.  Maybe I'm wrong, but we're making a turn, and the future looks bright...  first time, long time.

In reply to by ludwigvmises

Yippie21 Mon, 07/09/2018 - 13:44 Permalink

When " weighing on the dow " = +293 ..      Oh, but it was up 294!!   With the UK political situation deteriorating by the hour, major tariffs hitting their first Monday after a holiday week of slack trading...   yeah...  Trump bashing Pfizer is the ticket!

Quivering Lip Mon, 07/09/2018 - 13:48 Permalink

From February of this year.

“Despite continuing rhetoric that the pharmaceutical companies are getting away with murder,” said Rachel Sachs, a Washington University in St. Louis professor who follows drug pricing, “he has done absolutely nothing on this issue, and that has actually surprised me.”

"Trump was unorthodox about drug prices during the 2016 campaign. He swore to stand up to the pharmaceutical companies, long revered as among Washington’s powerful interests. He toldTime, in his Person of the Year interview in December 2016: “I’m going to bring down drug prices. I don’t like what has happened with drug prices.”

"Trump was in many ways unlike any candidate — particularly any Republican — who came before him. Exhibit A: his promise to bring down drug prices. Back in January 2016, he was arguing that Medicare should be directly negotiating the prices it pays for medications and blaming the lobbying power of the drug companies for preventing it."

Well we're waiting!! How bout health insurance while you're at it. My wife and my coverage has gone up 48% in the last 2 years, and we've never hit our deductible, ever!!!

Luckily for us they don't count health insurance or drugs in the inflation numbers.


Quivering Lip IDESofMARCH Mon, 07/09/2018 - 14:11 Permalink

Algos JUST SAY NO. In other news. 

A resolution to encourage breast-feeding was expected to be approved quickly and easily by the hundreds of government delegates who gathered this spring in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly.

Based on decades of research, the resolution says that mother’s milk is healthiest for children and countries should strive to limit the inaccurate or misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes.

Then the United States delegation, embracing the interests of infant formula manufacturers, upended the deliberations.

American officials sought to water down the resolution by removing language that called on governments to “protect, promote and support breast-feeding” and another passage that called on policymakers to restrict the promotion of food products that many experts say can have deleterious effects on young children.

When that failed, they turned to threats, according to diplomats and government officials who took part in the discussions. Ecuador, which had planned to introduce the measure, was the first to find itself in the cross hairs.

The Americans were blunt: If Ecuador refused to drop the resolution, Washington would unleash punishing trade measures and withdraw crucial military aid. The Ecuadorean government quickly acquiesced.

“We were astonished, appalled and also saddened,” said Patti Rundall, the policy director of the British advocacy group Baby Milk Action, who has attended meetings of the assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization, since the late 1980s.

“What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the U.S. holding the world hostage and trying to overturn nearly 40 years of consensus on the best way to protect infant and young child health,” she said.

In the end, the Americans’ efforts were mostly unsuccessful. It was the Russians who ultimately stepped in to introduce the measure — and the Americans did not threaten them.


The United States ambassador to Ecuador, Todd C. Chapman, left, in Quito’s historical center with a guide, center, and the undersecretary of state for political affairs, Thomas A. Shannon.CreditJose Jacome/EPA, via Shutterstock

The State Department declined to respond to questions, saying it could not discuss private diplomatic conversations. The Department of Health and Human Services, the lead agency in the effort to modify the resolution, explained the decision to contest the resolution’s wording but said H.H.S. was not involved in threatening Ecuador.



“The resolution as originally drafted placed unnecessary hurdles for mothers seeking to provide nutrition to their children,” an H.H.S. spokesman said in an email. “We recognize not all women are able to breast-feed for a variety of reasons. These women should have the choice and access to alternatives for the health of their babies, and not be stigmatized for the ways in which they are able to do so.” The spokesman asked to remain anonymous in order to speak more freely.

Although lobbyists from the baby food industry attended the meetings in Geneva, health advocates said they saw no direct evidence that they played a role in Washington’s strong-arm tactics. The $70 billion industry, which is dominated by a handful of American and European companies, has seen sales flatten in wealthy countries in recent years, as more women embrace breast-feeding. Over all, global sales are expected to rise by 4 percent in 2018, according to Euromonitor, with most of that growth occurring in developing nations.

The intensity of the administration’s opposition to the breast-feeding resolution stunned public health officials and foreign diplomats, who described it as a marked contrast to the Obama administration, which largely supported W.H.O.’s longstanding policy of encouraging breast-feeding.


During the deliberations, some American delegates even suggested the United States might cut its contribution to the W.H.O., several negotiators said. Washington is the single largest contributor to the health organization, providing $845 million, or roughly 15 percent of its budget, last year.

The confrontation was the latest example of the Trump administration siding with corporate interests on numerous public health and environmental issues.

In talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Americans have been pushing for language that would limit the ability of Canada, Mexico and the United States to put warning labels on junk food and sugary beverages, according to a draft of the proposal reviewed by The New York Times.


During the same Geneva meeting where the breast-feeding resolution was debated, the United States succeeded in removing statements supporting soda taxes from a document that advises countries grappling with soaring rates of obesity.


The Americans also sought, unsuccessfully, to thwart a W.H.O. effortaimed at helping poor countries obtain access to lifesaving medicines. Washington, supporting the pharmaceutical industry, has long resisted calls to modify patent laws as a way of increasing drug availability in the developing world, but health advocates say the Trump administration has ratcheted up its opposition to such efforts.

The delegation’s actions in Geneva are in keeping with the tactics of an administration that has been upending alliances and long-established practices across a range of multilateral organizations, from the Paris climate accord to the Iran nuclear deal to Nafta.

Ilona Kickbusch, director of the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, said there was a growing fear that the Trump administration could cause lasting damage to international health institutions like the W.H.O. that have been vital in containing epidemics like Ebola and the rising death toll from diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the developing world.

“It’s making everyone very nervous, because if you can’t agree on health multilateralism, what kind of multilateralism can you agree on?” Ms. Kickbusch asked.


The opening of the World Health Assembly in May. After American officials pressured Ecuador, it was Russia that introduced a resolution in support of breast-feeding.CreditPeter Klaunzer/EPA, via Shutterstock

A Russian delegate said the decision to introduce the breast-feeding resolution was a matter of principle.

“We’re not trying to be a hero here, but we feel that it is wrong when a big country tries to push around some very small countries, especially on an issue that is really important for the rest of the world,” said the delegate, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

He said the United States did not directly pressure Moscow to back away from the measure. Nevertheless, the American delegation sought to wear down the other participants through procedural maneuvers in a series of meetings that stretched on for two days, an unexpectedly long period.

In the end, the United States was largely unsuccessful. The final resolution preserved most of the original wording, though American negotiators did get language removed that called on the W.H.O. to provide technical support to member states seeking to halt “inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children.”

The United States also insisted that the words “evidence-based” accompany references to long-established initiatives that promote breast-feeding, which critics described as a ploy that could be used to undermine programs that provide parents with feeding advice and support.

Elisabeth Sterken, director of the Infant Feeding Action Coalition in Canada, said four decades of research have established the importance of breast milk, which provides essential nutrients as well as hormones and antibodies that protect newborns against infectious disease.

2016 study in The Lancet found that universal breast-feeding would prevent 800,000 child deaths a year across the globe and yield $300 billion in savingsfrom reduced health care costs and improved economic outcomes for those reared on breast milk.

Scientists are loath to carry out double-blind studies that would provide one group with breast milk and another with breast milk substitutes. “This kind of ‘evidence-based’ research would be ethically and morally unacceptable,” Ms. Sterken said.

Abbott Laboratories, the Chicago-based company that is one of the biggest players in the $70 billion baby food market, declined to comment.

Nestlé, the Switzerland-based food giant with significant operations in the United States, sought to distance itself from the threats against Ecuador and said the company would continue to support the international code on the marketing of breast milk substitutes, which calls on governments to regulate the inappropriate promotion of such products and to encourage breast-feeding.

In addition to the trade threats, Todd C. Chapman, the United States ambassador to Ecuador, suggested in meetings with officials in Quito, the Ecuadorean capital, that the Trump administration might also retaliate by withdrawing the military assistance it has been providing in northern Ecuador, a region wracked by violence spilling across the border from Colombia, according to an Ecuadorean government official who took part in the meeting.

The United States Embassy in Quito declined to make Mr. Chapman available for an interview.

“We were shocked because we didn’t understand how such a small matter like breast-feeding could provoke such a dramatic response,” said the Ecuadorean official, who asked not to be identified because she was afraid of losing her job.

Wesley Tomaselli contributed reporting from Colombia.


In reply to by IDESofMARCH

Michigander Mon, 07/09/2018 - 14:04 Permalink

This is simply the maximum pain theory at work. You charge as much as the market will bear. Monopolies abound in the drug business because of the FDA and its approval process. If there were competition on this drug, they'd never be able to get away wth this nonsense.