Pfizer raises prices of 100 products, as wait for US President Donald Trump's "massive" cuts continues: report

Pfizer has raised the prices of 100 products in the US effective July 1, with the majority of increases of just over 9 percent, The Financial Times reported Monday. The higher prices come weeks after US President Donald Trump suggested that major pharmaceutical companies will shortly announce "voluntary massive" cuts to the prices of drugs.

The report noted that the prices of some products have jumped almost 20 percent this year after also accounting for price hikes instituted in January. Regarding specific products, the price of the smoking cessation therapy Chantix (varenicline) has increased by 17 percent, while the cost of a bottle of the glaucoma therapy Xalatan (latanoprost) has climbed from $89.38 to $107.05.

According to The Financial Times, the latest price rises affect medicines such as Viagra (sildenafil), which has risen to $88.45 from $73.85 at the start of this year, with the company also cutting the cost of five products by between 16 percent and 44 percent. Commenting on the news, Pfizer said "the list price remains unchanged for the majority of our medicines. We are modifying prices for 10 percent of our medicines, including some instances where we're decreasing the price."

"List prices do not reflect what most patients or insurance companies pay," Pfizer added, noting that net prices, which take into account  discounts and rebates, were expected to be in the "low single digits." However, Michael Rea, chief executive of Rx Savings Solutions, noted that "the latest increases signal that it is 'business as usual' rather than the voluntary concessions that Trump indicated were coming."

In May, Trump unveiled a plan aiming to reduce drug prices and increase competition for prescription medicines. The president has previously accused drugmakers of "getting away with murder" in terms of drug pricing and urged companies to lower prices.

The Financial Times report also revealed that several other companies raised drug prices as of July 1, including increases on 20 products by Acella Pharmaceuticals. Additionally, Acorda Therapeutics raised the price of the multiple sclerosis drug Ampyra (dalfampridine) by 9.5 percent, while Intercept Pharmaceuticals increased the cost of the liver treatment Ocaliva (obeticholic acid) by 7 percent.

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