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Novartis Halts Planned Price Increases For Drugs Amid Scrutiny of Relationship With Trump Attorney | BioSpace

Swiss pharma giant Novartis is halting planned price increases on its medications after President Donald Trump took Pfizer to task over price hikes earlier this month. Pfizer agreed to roll back its price increases last week.

Novartis Chief Executive Officer Vas Narasimhan said the company voluntarily halted its price increases because it wants the consumer cost of its medicines to be both “reasonable” and “defensible” to patients, Bloomberg reported this morning. Narasimhan added that he wants the price of Novartis drugs to “reflect their value for patients.”

“We thought the prudent thing to do was to pull back on any further price increases in 2018 and evaluate as the environment evolves,” Narasimhan told Bloomberg.

The price increase had been planned for the third quarter of this year.

Last week Pfizer said it will defer the price increases on 40 drugs in order to “give the president an opportunity to work on his blueprint to strengthen the healthcare system and provide more access to patients.” Pfizer said it will return the pricing levels on those 40 drugs to the costs prior to the announcement.

Novartis’ announcement of price reductions comes hard on the heels of additional information having been made public about the company’s relationship with Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney who has been accused of attempting to sell access to the Trump administration. A new report issued by Senate Democrats examined the relationship between the pharma company and the attorney who was known as “Trump’s fixer.” In May it was revealed that Novartis paid Cohen $1.2 million for consulting services. The Senate report said that Novartis hired Cohen to provide it with access to key policymakers in the Trump administration. The Swiss pharma giant provided Cohen with drug pricing recommendations for “discussion with… Trump administration,” the report said. Novartis said it disagreed with the Senate report’s conclusion. Novartis said it made a “mistake” into entering in the contract with Cohen.

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Novartis Halts Planned Price Increases For Drugs Amid Scrutiny of Relationship With Trump Attorney | BioSpace.

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