Pfizer will increase its prices in the United States in January


NEW YORK (Reuters) – Pfizer announced Friday that it plans to raise prices for 41 of its drugs in the United States from January, after falling for the first time this summer under pressure from US President Donald Trump.
The first US pharmaceutical group said in a statement that the price increases would concern about 10% of his treatments.
Public price increases will reach 5% for most of the medications as of Jan. 15, said Pfizer, without naming the products in question.
The company does not expect any significant impact on its sales next year because of the discounts that are granted to the insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) which occupy the United States role of intermediary between insurers and pharmaceutical groups.
Pfizer, said CEO Ian Read in a statement, believes that the best way to make medicines more accessible to the public is to reduce costs not covered by insurance and pass on discounts on General public.
The group had given up a series of price increases last summer after a tweet by Donald Trump in which the president felt that Pfizer "should be ashamed".
Pfizer then promised to postpone increases at the end of the year or until the White House plan on drug prices comes into effect.
It remains to be seen whether the other pharmaceutical groups will follow Pfizer's example.
Several of them, like Roche, Merck & CO and Novartis, also pledged to postpone possible price increases until the end of the year.
The increase "illustrates the perverse incentives of the US drug price system," said Caitlin Oakley, spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services.
"Pharmaceutical companies are raising their prices and offsetting them with even greater discounts, which benefits everyone, except the consumer," she added.
 (Michael Erman with Julie Steenhuysen in Chicago, Gwénaëlle Barzic for French service, edited by Tangi Salaün)


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