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Pfizer says it will "defer" drug price hike after Trump tweet

WASHINGTON -- Pharmaceutical company Pfizer said in a statement Tuesday that CEO Ian Read had agreed to "defer the company's price increases that were effective on July 1 to give the president an opportunity to work on his blueprint to strengthen the healthcare system." President Trump tweeted Tuesday that Pfizer is "rolling back price hikes, so American patients don't pay more." 

Mr. Trump tweeted that he and Health Secretary Alex Azar discussed the issue Tuesday with Read.  

Pfizer says it will "return these prices to their pre-July 1 levels as soon as technically possible."

Mr. Trump complained about the price increases on Twitter Monday, writing: "Pfizer & others should be ashamed that they have raised drug prices for no reason. They are merely taking advantage of the poor & others unable to defend themselves."

Shares of Pfizer briefly turned negative Monday after the tweet, but were up fractionally in late afternoon trading.

The Financial Times last week reported that Pfizer had hiked prices on about 100 drugs, its second such move of the year a month after Mr. Trump signaled drug companies would soon be slashing prices. The average wholesale cost of a 100 mg Viagra pill increased to $88.45, up almost 20 percent from $73.85 at the beginning of 2018, while a bottle of Xalatan eyedrops for glaucoma currently went up to $107.05, compared to $89.38 at the start of the year, according to the report.

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