Novartis freezes drug prices in a nod to Trump

22 July, 2018, 01:42 | Author: Denise Dawson
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In response to a congressional inquiry, Novartis said it planned to raise the prices of some drugs this year.

In response to the heated political rhetoric over the cost of prescription drugs, Novartis has decided not to raise prices on its medicines in the US for the rest of 2018.

Earlier this month, after the end of the period reflected in the disclosures, Pfizer made a decision to delay expected increases in drug prices after Trump tweeted the company was "merely taking advantage of the poor".

Swiss drugmaker Novartis said on Tuesday it would not raise prices on its USA products for the remainder of the year, following a similar move by Pfizer the week prior.

Merck & just the latest pharma to make a public show of its pricing policies, but much like pledges from Pfizer and Novartis, the moves may do more to help the industry's public relations image than realistically make a dent into healthcare system costs.

The statement came after Pfizer reversed and froze price increases on some drugs in the United States following president Donald Trump's social media spree. "Likewise to Pfizer. We are making a big push to actually reduce the prices, maybe substantially, on prescription drugs", Trump said in a tweet. The company will drop the price of Zepatier, a Hepatitis C drug, by 60%, and decrease the costs of "several other" drugs by 10%.

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Recently, Pfizer was lambasted by President Donald Trump over its price hikes and announced it would roll them back.

However, his administration did little until May, when it rolled out its 44-page "blueprint" for increasing competition, reducing regulations and changing the incentives for all players in the drug industry.

Merck said in a press release Thursday that it has "a long history of responsible drug pricing".

In May, the Trump administration outlined a plan for lower prices, but critics have said it did not go far enough.

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America spent $5.54 million between April and June, down 7.7 percent from the same period previous year, according to disclosures released by the federal government on Friday.



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