President Donald Trump criticized pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. in a Monday tweet for recently increasing the prices of many of its prescription drugs. In the tweet, which referred to Pfizer and unspecified “others,” Trump said that companies were “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!” Pfizer shares rose 0.5% in heavy early afternoon trade. The presidential tweet follows a Financial Times report that Pfizer raised list prices for 100 products in early July, weeks after Trump promised large price reductions, and marking the second such increase this year for Pfizer. The drugmaker also decreased the prices of five products, according to the report. Pfizer told the Financial Times that the increases, which were made on the drugs’ so-called “list prices,” did not reflect net price increases, estimated to be in the low single digits. Drug companies tend to increase the prices of their drugs early in the year and then again in the summer, and Pfizer was one of several to do so this month. Trump previously attacked pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. Inc. and its “ripoff drug prices” after Chief Executive Kenneth Frazier left a presidential advisory council in light of a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. Pfizer shares have surged 5.2% over the last three months, compared with a 6.4% rise in the S&P 500 and a 3.2% rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average .
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