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Trump Pfizer Deal, Is It Good For Consumers?

President Trump and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals announced a deal this week, that will have the drug company lower drug prices to consumers. The deal results from Mr. Trump’s constant pressure on drug companies to adjust their prices.

 

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Trump: Did Pfizer Really Lower Their Drug Prices?

The answer appears to be No, they did not do so. Instead, they just rolled back their price increases from June 2018.

Pfizer isn’t dropping the drugs prices below their June levels, instead, it’s just undoing increases that had been in place for a few days. And, unfortunately for consumers, the price decrease is only temporary.

Pfizer, led by CEO Ian Read, said it will raise the prices again by the end of this year. The Trump Administration is currently working on a drug pricing reform plan, but it’s unknown when this will be ready.

Critics maintain that Pfizer is only deferring price increases — not canceling them, and certainly not lowering its prices. The consumer group Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program, said in a statement.

 

Trump: Will Consumer Notice The Lower Prices?

Consumers and patients who are using the specific drugs on Pfizer’s list may not notice much of a difference in their pocketbooks.  The drug pricing system is complicated. The current system of rebates and insurance benefits make it difficult for a consumer to notice price reductions.

While critics are unhappy Pfizer is getting very positive PR from the media and some consumer groups. For example, in addition to Trump’s praise, HHS Secretary Alex Azar issued a public statement commending the company “for its constructive and professional approach, and … to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.”

While the Pfizer deal is far from optimal, it does signal the Administrations’ intent to really lower drug prices.

Stay tuned.

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