"The bully pulpit and rhetoric alone are proving insufficient to affect bad behavior on prices."
Pharmaceutical companies raised drug prices across the board despite calls from President Donald Trump to lower them, according to the Financial Times.
Pfizer, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the US, raised the prices of over 100 products on July 1st, according to the Financial Times. Most of the prices increased by nine percent -- way above the current inflation rate of two percent.
In May, Trump, who promised to crack down on big pharma throughout his campaign, said that he expects drug companies will be making "massive" cuts in prices.
The companies didn't play along.
Trump tweeted his disapproval with the hike in prices on Monday, saying drug companies should be "ashamed" and that the administration will take action.
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, while at the same time giving bargain basement prices to other countries in Europe & elsewhere. We will respond!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2018
Pfizer wasn't alone -- two of Bayer's cancer drugs increased by hundreds of dollars during May and four others have in June.
Some health organizations called out the Trump administration for not taking stronger action.
“Public opinion is highly negative on pharma’s behavior, and the president’s call reflected that,” John Rother, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Health Care told Politico last Tuesday. “But the combination of patent policies that guarantee monopolies and the industry’s lobbying and campaign contributions seem to insulate them from effective action to restrain unaffordable prices, at least to date.”
“Bottom line, the bully pulpit and rhetoric alone are proving insufficient to affect bad behavior on prices. Congress and the administration need to take action,” he added.
Health and Human Services said the administration will do something to lower prices.
“We will not hesitate to use the authority and the tools we have at our disposal, as set forth in the president’s blueprint on drug prices, to make sure Americans see lower prices and reduced out-of-pocket costs,” said HHS spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley to Politico.
Democrats quickly jumped on Trump for failing to follow through on his promise.
Democrats have called for drug companies to be more transparent and have pushed for Medicare to deal with the companies directly.
This isn't the first time Trump has been surrounded in a health policy controversy. In May, Trump announced a plan to cut millions of dollars to abortion clinics.