Pfizer CEO Ian Read said on Tuesday that the company will likely return to “business as normal” at the start of next year in regard to drug prices, despite ongoing pressure from the Trump administration.
After Trump singled out Pfizer on Twitter, the company delayed a planned price hike for nearly 100 drugs. Read and Trump met and agreed that Pfizer would defer the hikes until the end of the year, or when Trump’s proposed blueprint targeting soaring drug prices came into effect, a decision that garnered praise from the president.
However, Read now says it is unlikely that the blueprint will come to fruition by the start of 2019. “I don’t think our pricing situation has changed,” Read remarked, adding “I have, at this moment in time, no different view about how we will take price increases as we did last year […] I feel that they’ve been less rapid than I’d have liked on this discount issue.”
Read has also expressed criticism of the Trump administration’s recent proposal to link Medicare Part B prices to an international average. The regulation would establish an international pricing index (IPI) that would be used as a reference to set prices paid for drugs through Medicare Part B. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimated that the IPI model would provide $17.2 billion in savings to patients and taxpayers over a five-year period.
Read, however, commented, “we would hope that the administration would reconsider its position on that.”
It appears the administration is no longer relying on voluntary actions from drug manufacturers, as is evident with this latest proposal, as well as the proposal that came earlier this month that would require pharmaceutical companies to provide the list prices of certain drugs in direct-to-consumer advertisements. The proposal, drafted as a new federal rule, would require drug manufacturers to disclose in ads the list price of a 30-day supply of any drug that is covered through Medicare and Medicaid and costs more than $35 a month.
(Source: The Hill)