Trump Thanks Novartis, Pfizer for Putting Off Drug Price Hikes

A building on the campus of the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis

A building on the campus of the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis

A spokesman for Novartis said the company notified the state of California, which has a new drug-price transparency law, of its decision in June but the news was not widely known.

President Trump once again honed in on the high cost of USA prescription drugs on Thursday morning, praising Novartis and Pfizer for their recent decisions not to raise prices.

"We applaud Pfizer for this decision and hope other companies do the same", Trump said in a July 10 tweet.

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Facing pressure from the Trump administration and lawmakers, Swiss drugmaker Novartis has also halted anticipated price increases. In 2017, Merck issued its second annual Pricing Action Transparency Report, which showed that net prices across Merck's USA product portfolio declined by 1.9 percent.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: "There is no invitation from Congress" Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar met with Pfizer CEO Ian Read Thursday amid the administration's campaign to get drug companies to lower prices, according to a White House spokesman. In addition, Merck said it would not increase the average net price of other medications by more than the inflation rate. "We thought that was prudent, given the dynamic environment we're now in", he said.

Merck plans to lower the prices of seven drugs, including Zepatier, a drug for heaptitis-c, by 60 percent.

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In May, President Donald Trump issued a blueprint for bolstering competition and reducing regulations in the drug industry. But the companies have garnered praise from Trump, who has assumed bragging rights for being successful in lowering drug prices.

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America spent $5.54 million between April and June, down 7.7 percent from the same period a year ago, according to disclosures released by the federal government on Friday.

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