July 3, 2018/Press Release

ICYMI: Despite A $11 Billion Handout from GOP Tax Bill, Pfizer Raises Prices for Dozens of Drugs

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Wall Street Journal reports that Pfizer, one of the world’s largest drug companies, is raising prices for more than 40 of its prescription drugs this week. This news comes despite the fact that Pfizer saved $11 billion last year thanks to massive handouts provided to pharmaceutical companies by the Republican tax bill. According to Axios, Pfizer and eight other pharmaceutical companies have been using the $50 billion they received through the Republican tax bill to enrich their executives and Wall Street investors. Meanwhile, the companies continue to raise drug prices — leaving many Missourians struggling to afford their prescriptions.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Pfizer Inc. raised the list prices for more than 40 of its prescription drugs this week, marking a second round of increases this year despite mounting public scrutiny.

The increases apply to widely used drugs including lung-cancer treatment Xalkori, Norvasc blood-pressure pills and Lyrica pain capsules, according to drug-pricing data from RELX PLC’s Elsevier information business. Many lift the list prices by 9.4% and by double-digit percentages for the year overall.

…Other drug companies raised the list prices of medicines this month, according to the wholesale acquisition cost data from Elsevier’s Gold Standard Drug Database, though most of them are smaller drug makers.

Sanofi SA raised the price of eczema treatment Dupixent by 3% on Friday, and the explanation for the move reflected industry sensitivity to questions about price increases, even slight ones.

…Pfizer’s latest round [of increases] comes after President Donald Trump, in May, said he expected some big drug companies to make “massive” price cuts.

The price increases help drug makers meet financial-growth targets, especially when key products are losing sales to lower-cost generic versions. Yet many companies pledged in recent years to make just one increase a year and nothing totaling more than 10% after the rising prices of EpiPen allergy treatments and other drugs sparked criticism from doctors, hospitals and patients and hearings in Congress.

…Yet for many patients, costs have kept rising, and the trend has remained a political issue in Washington.

…Among the drugs whose list prices Pfizer raised this week are big sellers for the company, such as Chantix smoking-cessation pills. On July 1, the list price of a bottle of 56 tablets rose 7% to $429, after a 9.4% increase in January, according to Elsevier’s drug-price database.