Pfizer raising drug prices in 2019

Pfizer raising drug prices in 2019
Posted at 7:05 AM, Nov 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-19 02:31:30-05

(CNN) - Months after it agreed to hold off raising prices following heavy pressure from President Donald Trump, Pfizer said it will increase the prices of 41 drugs in January.

The pharmaceutical giant says one drug will go up by 9 percent. Three others will rise 3 percent, and the others will see a 5-percent hike.

The affected medicine represents 10 percent of Pfizer's drug portfolio, and the company says the price hikes will be offset by higher rebates and discounts offered by pharmacies and insurance companies.

Trump has long called for prescription drug prices to be lowered, and he criticized Pfizer back in July for considering a price hike.

Pfizer previously said its agreement to hold off a price hike was temporary.

“We believe the best means to address affordability of medicines is to reduce the growing out-of-pocket costs that consumers are facing due to high deductibles and co-insurance, and ensure that patients receive the benefit of rebates at the pharmacy counter,” stated Ian Read, Pfizer’s current chairman and chief executive officer in a statement.

Pfizer said In 2018 the impact of “price increases on revenue growth is projected to be a negative 1 percent in the U.S compared with 2017,” the company said. The price increase on the drugs is expected to have no effect on the company’s revenue in 2019, the company said.

Though the White House has yet to comment on Pfizer’s announcement, other lawmakers offered criticism of the move, saying Americans need lower drug prices.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-MD, said, “Was Pfizer price rollback just a PR stunt? The American people will suffer until (the president) keeps his campaign promise to allow the government to negotiate for lower drug prices.”

“Most Americans know all too well the rising costs of prescription drugs. And it couldn’t be more clear that this Administration failed at keeping these costs down,” said Sen. Kamala Harris, D-CA.

Copyright 2018 CNN. All rights reserved. Raycom News Network contributed to this report.