FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with the news media before boarding Marine One for travel to Europe from the White House, in Washington, U.S., July 10, 2018. Trump had promised to lower drug prices as part of his 2016 campaign, and he threatened to use the government's clout to negotiate lower prices.
"I think we're going to have some big - some of the big drug companies in two weeks, and they're going to announce, because of what we did, they're going to announce voluntary, massive drops in prices", Trump said at the time.
The Financial Times and Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies had raised prices in recent days. Such a reduction never took place, and companies instead chose to raise prices on a number of drugs.
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President Donald Trump criticized Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies for raising prices in a tweet Monday afternoon, vowing that the government would respond.
In an unexpected about face, Pfizer agreed to defer substantial price hikes that went into effect just last week on more than 40 medicines after its chief executive met with President Trump, who is under increasing pressure to take action to lower the cost of prescription drugs. The pharmaceutical giant said the drugs will return to their pre-July 1 prices "as soon as technically possible" and stay in place until either the end of the year or until elements of the Trump-backed health care blueprint go into effect. The list price hikes don't factor in discounts that companies may provide to some insurance companies and patients. But by Tuesday, the company's position changed, as it opted to scrap the increases until at least next year. Still, Trump predicted it would lead, within weeks, to a major reduction in drug prices. Some of the drug prices increased by double digit percentages.
In a statement, the company said that it "shares the President's concern for patients and commitment to providing affordable access to the medicines they need".