- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Pfizer Inc. said Tuesday it will defer planned price increases on a slate of its medicines until Jan. 1 or avoid the hikes altogether if President Trump’s blueprint for slashing drug prices takes effect, effectively daring the White House to implement its proposal after Mr. Trump called out the company out on Twitter.

The company said it made the decision after an “extensive discussion” between Chairman and CEO Ian Read and Mr. Trump, who earlier this week said Pfizer should be “ashamed” for raising the price of 100 of its drugs for “no reason.”

“Pfizer shares the President’s concern for patients and commitment to providing affordable access to the medicines they need,” Mr. Read said.

The White House is pushing a plan to cut drug cost through tweaks to Medicare and a crackdown on “middlemen” who get bigger rebates from higher list prices, among other reforms.

It’s unclear if the administration, which will need to draft regulations and get help from Congress on some aspects of their proposal, can actually implement the plan and drive down prices before the end of the year, or if Pfizer will end up raising prices at the start of 2019, after a six-month delay.

But Mr. Trump declared victory anyway.

“Pfizer is rolling back price hikes, so American patients don’t pay more,” he said on Twitter. “We applaud Pfizer for this decision and hope other companies do the same. Great news for the American people!”

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