Pfizer doubling patient income limit for free drug program

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Top U.S. drugmaker Pfizer is increasing its financial assistance to patients, doubling the allowable income level for people to receive dozens of Pfizer medicines for free.

The move comes amid fierce criticism of soaring prices for new medications and even old ones with little or no competition.

Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Ian Read tells The Associated Press in an exclusive interview that his company isn't boosting assistance due to the heightened scrutiny of prices, but because more and more people can't afford needed medicines as insurance plans shift more costs onto patients.

Pfizer will make an extra 44 medicines free for both uninsured and underinsured patients earning up to four times the federal poverty level. That's $47,080 annually for a single person and $97,000 for a family of four.