As patients and manufacturers await the Trump administration’s massive cuts to drug prices, Pfizer has raised the prices of 100 of their products as of July 1. These price increases come only a short time after Trump hinted that pharmaceutical companies were only weeks away from announcing “voluntary massive” cuts to drug prices.
A number of the products have experienced an almost 20 percent price hike. For instance, the cost of a bottle of Pfizer’s glaucoma therapy, Xalatan, has risen from $89.38 to $107.05. In addition, Viagra, originally $73.85 at the beginning of the year, now has an $88.45 price tag.
While the cost of 100 products has gone up, Pfizer has also cut the cost of five products by 16 to 44 percent, a detail that the company acknowledged in a statement, “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.”
While Pfizer maintains that “list prices do not reflect what most patients or insurance companies pay,” the increases still pose a problem for Trump’s plan. Michael Rea, chief executive of Rx Savings Solutions, stated that “the latest increases signal that it is ‘business as usual’ rather than the voluntary concessions that Trump indicated were coming.”
The Financial Times report also revealed that Pfizer isn’t the only one raising prices. Acella Pharmaceuticals has increased the cost of 20 products, Acorda Therapeutics raised the price of Ampyra, the multiple sclerosis drug, by 9.5 percent, and Intercept Pharmaceuticals increased the cost of the liver treatment, Ocaliva, by seven percent.
The trend of pharmaceutical companies increasing prices is not what patients were told was on the horizon. For now, it does not appear that Trump’s plan for companies to voluntarily lower prices is gaining traction. It is reasonable to suspect that the administration may turn to more aggressive regulatory measures.