Robert Donachie, DCNF
President Donald Trump’s administration is pressuring major pharmaceutical companies to lower their prices, but they aren’t listening.
Thus far in 2018, pharmaceutical companies have made over 3,600 price increases on 1,045 different drugs, according to Raymond James & Associates. The median increase on a list price was 8 percent.
There are some outliers, also. Pharmaceutical maker Aytu BioScience raised the price of an oral-spray sleep aide astronomically. The company is asking for $659 for a 7.7. milliliter bottle, up from $69.88. It also increased the price of a smaller bottle 747 percent.
Aytu’s Chief Executive Josh Disbrow told The Wall Street Journal on Saturday that the move was necessary to bring the product in-line with other similar sleep aides, adding that the drug is for those who were willing and able to pay more out-of-pocket for the oral-spray over the cheaper pill option.
The president promised the American people in May that they would soon see massive price cuts to prescription drugs — a prediction that has yet to materialize.
Bayer, Pfizer and other major pharmaceutical makers have raised their prices in the face of the administration’s bold announcement. Pfizer increased the price of over 100 of its products July 1.
“The list price remains unchanged for the majority of our medicines. Our portfolio includes more than 400 medicines and vaccines; we are modifying prices for approximately 10% of these, including some instances where we’re decreasing the price,” Pfizer said in a statement.
Trump called out Pfizer Monday for increasing its prices and not complying with his repeated calls for drugmakers to lower costs at the checkout counter.
“Pfizer & others should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason. They are merely taking advantage of the poor & others unable to defend themselves, while at the same time giving bargain basement prices to other countries in Europe & elsewhere. We will respond!” the president tweeted Monday afternoon.
Pfizer also announced that it was holding off price increases on more than 40 drugs following the president’s comments.
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