President Donald Trump said Pfizer Inc. should be “ashamed” for raising the prices of its pharmaceutical products, briefly rattling shares of the U.S. drug giant on Monday.
“Pfizer & others should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason,” Trump said in a tweet. “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!”
Earlier this month, the Financial Times reported that Pfizer had raised prices on about 100 drugs, following a pattern of regular increases that the company takes each year.
Pfizer said in a statement that the list prices for the majority of its drugs and vaccines hasn’t changed, though it did change the prices on about 10% of its products, including some reductions.
Pfizer shares were up about 0.3% after rising as much as 1% earlier in the day. The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index, often used as a barometer for investor sentiment about drug prices, was up 0.3% after rising as much as 0.5% earlier.
At an event in Washington, Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said the administration would take action on prices, and seemed to allude to Pfizer in his remarks. Drug companies that increased prices recently “may we’ll be remembered for creating a tipping point in U.S. drug pricing policy,” Azar said.