Senator Pushes Pfizer to Permanently Roll Back Prices

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) has written to Pfizer CEO Ian Read asking the company to “permanently roll back” the prices for its prescription drugs. The move comes amid efforts by the Trump Administration to lower prescription drug prices across the board, through new payment models and direct pressure on pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Pfizer, after substantially raising prices on more than 100 of its prescriptions drugs in July, quickly announced that it would defer the price increases on many of its medicines while the administration finalizes its comprehensive “blueprint” for lowering costs. Prior to the reversal, many of Pfizer’s list prices rose by more than 9 percent, exceeding the rate of inflation.

Though the halt in drug price increases was designed primarily to address the concerns of the Trump Administration, lawmakers expressed skepticism that the company went far enough. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) demanded to know whether Pfizer had received preferential treatment from the administration in exchange for the delay, as well as whether the company would further delay price hikes.

Likewise, Senator Baldwin remained unsatisfied. “Instead of playing games with the costs of prescription drugs that millions of Americans depend on,” Ms. Baldwin wrote in her letter, “[Pfizer] should make a firm and clear commitment to permanently roll back prices.”

Source: STAT News, July 16, 2018.