The top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee is demanding details on an agreement between President TrumpDonald TrumpYoungkin ad features mother who pushed to have 'Beloved' banned from son's curriculum White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled MORE and drug company Pfizer to temporarily hold off on drug price increases.
“Secret, sweetheart arrangements with pharmaceutical companies are exactly why America’s drug pricing system is broken,” said Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOn The Money — Democrats craft billionaire tax with deal in reach Senators weigh future of methane fee in spending bill Senate negotiators homing in on proposal to tax billionaires MORE (D-Ore.)
Pfizer announced Tuesday evening it would defer previously announced price increases on 100 drugs following "an extensive discussion" with Trump to give the administration more time to work on its plan to lower costs.
The prices will return to their pre-July 1 levels, and will remain there until the president's blueprint goes into effect or the end of the year, whichever is sooner.
Trump touted the agreement on his Twitter account as a rollback, even though the agreement is temporary.
Just talked with Pfizer CEO and @SecAzar on our drug pricing blueprint. Pfizer is rolling back price hikes, so American patients don’t pay more. We applaud Pfizer for this decision and hope other companies do the same. Great news for the American people!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2018
Wyden called the agreement a cheap PR ploy.
“Instead of proposing meaningful changes that result in lower costs for families and taxpayers, Trump and his Administration are busy scoring cheap PR points that don’t address the fundamental challenges that lead to higher prices every year," Wyden said.
"Americans want to know when real change is coming to lower their costs at the pharmacy counter — yesterday’s announcement was more of the same.”
Wyden noted that Pfizer was not the only drugmaker increasing drug prices this summer, and asked Azar if other companies would get similar treatment.
He also asked Azar to commit to not move forward with any policy that provides special treatment to Pfizer.
In his letter to Read, Wyden asked how much revenue Pfizer would forgo by not increasing its prices and if it was promised special treatment by the administration.