Will Trump tweet on Pfizer cut short the pharma rally?

Donald Trump

Trump warned that his administration would respond to such an unjustified increase in drug prices. Pfizer was followed by other pharma companies.

The across-the-board increases cast doubt on whether Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar can pressure manufacturers to voluntarily drop prices without the threat of specific consequences.

Specifically, the company boosted list, or wholesale, prices on more than 40 medicines; more than 100, if different dosages were counted. Across the industry, Wells Fargo found, companies rose drug prices on 63 products and lowered prices on 64 products in June.

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US President Donald Trump on Monday took aim at Pfizer Inc and other US drugmakers after they raised prices on some of their medicines on July 1, saying his administration would act in response. That gives Trump, who made lowering prescription drug prices a top 2016 presidential campaign issue, a short-term victory he can point to in the run-up to the elections, which are being closely watched to see if Trump's fellow Republicans will be able to maintain control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. He accused the company of taking advantage of the poor and defenseless while giving bargains to countries in Europe and elsewhere. The list price hikes don't factor in discounts that companies may provide to some insurance companies and patients. Still, Trump predicted it would lead, within weeks, to a major reduction in drug prices.

Nonetheless, Mr. Trump's tweet suggests he might begin calling out drug companies individually, akin to his attacks on Harley-Davidson over his tariff war. The company will return these prices to their pre-July 1 levels as soon as technically possible, and the prices will remain in effect until the earlier of when the president's blueprint goes into effect or the end of the year - whichever is sooner.

"'Pfizer shares the President's concern for patients and commitment to providing affordable access to the medicines they need, ' said Ian Read". Moreover, the vast majority of those increases were more than 9 percent, which greatly exceeds inflation while adhering to an informal and voluntary industry move to keep price hikes below 10 percent.

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