November 20, 2018

Warren Slams Pharmaceutical Giant Pfizer for Hiking Prices on Prescription Drugs

Warren: Congress should tackle rising drug costs, starting by passing my bill to put a $500 monthly cap on what families pay out-of-pocket for prescriptions

Boston, MA - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) issued the following statement in response to news that pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is moving forward with plans to hike prices of 41 of its prescription drugs, after freezing prices for only four months:

“Pfizer ‘promised’ it wouldn’t raise prices, then turned around and raised them anyway. We can’t count on drug companies to tackle rising drug costs, so Congress must. We can start by passing my bill to put a $500 monthly cap on what families pay out-of-pocket for prescriptions.”

In May, President Trump claimed that he would take action to lower the cost of prescription drugs and promised that drug companies were posted to enact massive, voluntary price drops in response to his plan. These price drops never materialized. Instead, in July, Pfizer announced that it would hike the prices of 41 prescription drugs, including drugs used to treat life-threatening illnesses like lung cancer. After President Trump criticized the price increases, Pfizer froze its prices temporarily. However, with President Trump failing to take meaningful action to bring down drug prices, Pfizer is now moving ahead as planned with its price increases.

Senator Warren and Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) sent a letter to Pfizer in May, asking Pfizer whether it planned to raise prices and whether it had attempted to lobby the Trump administration on its drug pricing proposals. In response, Pfizer failed to provide specific answers to Senator Warren’s questions and declined to commit to lowering drug prices.

Senator Warren is the lead sponsor of the Capping Prescription Costs Act of 2018, a bill that tackles high drug costs faced by families placing a monthly cap on their out-of-pocket drug costs. The legislation caps prescription drug copays at $250 per month for individuals and $500 per month for families. The bill, which applies to all group health plans and individual market plans, also ensures that individuals and families with high prescription drug costs are protected and can access necessary medications.