Price hiking in the pharmaceutical industry continues to persist, and has become ever more prominent in the public sphere thanks to in part to Donald Trump’s sporadic highlighting of the issue leading up to and throughout his presidency.
However, his so far infrequent and impotent attempts have done nothing to rectify the problem, as proven with the recent report that Pfizer had defiantly chosen to jack up the prices of 100 of its products since the beginning of the year in the face of the President’s warnings.
This didn’t reflect well on Trump, so he took to Twitter to condemn the US pharma giant and a number of other unspecified organisations:
“Pfizer & others should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason. They are merely taking advantage of the poor & others unable to defend themselves, while at the same time giving bargain basement prices to other countries in Europe & elsewhere. We will respond!”
Knowing the financial implications that can often accompany being targeted by the President over social media, Pfizer moved to riposte the attack. Pfizer Spokesman Dean Mastrojohn said in a statement: “The list price remains unchanged for the majority of our medicines. Our portfolio includes more than 400 medicines and vaccines; we are modifying prices for approximately 10% of these, including some instances where we’re decreasing the price. Importantly, list prices do not reflect what most patients or insurance companies pay. In the first quarter of 2018 the net selling price increase was 0% due to the growing amount of rebates paid back to stakeholders in the biopharmaceutical supply chain.”
Trump’s attack had the desired effect, sending Pfizer’s share price falling, but this didn’t last long and they had stabilised shortly afterward.