Pfizer Plans to Increase US Drug Prices in January

The following day, Prizer released a statement saying its CEO Ian Read had "an extensive discussion" with the president that led the company to "defer" the price increases while the White House drew up a plan to improve the USA healthcare system. Prices will rise by 5% for all but four of the 41 drugs, which were unnamed in a statement released by Pfizer.

Pfizer's price increases are "not egregious" and may serve as a trial balloon to gauge the administration's response, said David Maris, senior analyst at Wells Fargo Securities.

Pfizer's announcement hints at the tenuous status of pharma cooperation with the White House on drug pricing.

The end of the year is approaching, and Trump's "blueprint to lower drug prices" has yet to translate into any infrastructure, so Pfizer appears to be moving ahead with higher prices on some drugs. Such increases are a major part of the industry's business model, particularly for older products no longer bolstered by growing prescription volumes.

The pharmaceutical giant said the increases, which take effect January 15, apply to just 10 percent of its entire drug portfolio and would in many cases be offset by discounts to patients provided through insurance companies and drug benefits, Pfizer said in a statement.

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Pfizer did not disclose which products it planned to increase prices on, but noted that the product earmarked for a 9% bump had recently won USA approval for two new uses.

It was not immediately clear whether other drugmakers plan to follow suit.

Pfizer (PFE) said then that it would defer price increases until the end of the year or until the president's drug pricing plan went into effect - whichever was sooner.

Pfizer said it expects that rebates to insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers will offset its price increases, and it expects the higher prices will not boost its revenue in the United States next year.

The drugmaker surprised many in July with its decision to walk back hikes after Trump tweeted that the company should be "ashamed" of itself for raising prices and taking advantage of the poor.

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