We need affordable COVID drugs and to stop pandemic profiteering
No matter where you live, what you look like or what’s in your wallet, everyone gets sick. And all of us should have the medicine we need to lead healthy lives.
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, President Trump announced the White House had struck a deal with drug manufacturers to cap the price of insulin at $35 for diabetic Medicare enrollees. The Trump administration’s move, however, is nothing more than a political stunt designed to place a band-aid on a bullet wound. With more than 40 million people nationwide in need of affordable insulin, this proposal only does so for about 3 million Medicare-participating seniors.
Lower Drug Prices Now and Oxfam join with Merck Investors Oregon State Treasurer to Confront Merck’s Reliance on High-Risk Schemes
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
WASHINGTON – Today, ahead of Merck & Co’s shareholder meeting, Lower Drug Prices Now joined with Merck shareholders, including Oxfam and the Oregon State Treasurer, to issue statements challenging the drug corporation’s record of price gouging and tax avoidance. Merck’s reliance on short-term schemes, such as using monopoly power to hike drug prices is particularly troubling since Merck is now developing a COVID vaccine with direct support from US taxpayers.
Thursday, May 21, 2020
“It’s Groundhog Day. Another day, another drug corporation with a history of price gouging gets a massive gift of taxpayer dollars, no strings attached. Every taxpayer should be asking the Trump Administration why we are giving AstraZeneca over $1 billion for drugs that were developed with our tax dollars. Beating COVID depends on ensuring these medicines will be affordable. But instead, the Trump Administration continues to give drug corporations monopoly control over prices to profiteer off the pandemic.
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Washington – Today, the Lower Drug Prices Now coalition hosted a tele-town hall featuring Wisconsin Representative Gwen Moore, former Representative Donna Edwards, Stephanie Bloomingdale, President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, and Gary Mitchell, President of the Wisconsin Alliance of Retired Americans to demand affordable COVID drugs and accountability for drug corporations that are profiteering off of the coronavirus pandemic.
The town hall comes as multiple drug corporations with a history of price gouging race to develop treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.
No matter where people live, what they look like or what’s in their wallets, at some point everyone is going to get sick and need prescription medicines. Whether it’s a sore throat, high blood pressure or cancer, everyone needs affordable medicine to lead healthy lives.
But today, drug corporations and their powerful Pharma lobbyists are standing in the way of our health and economic security. By jacking up prices to boost profits, they are forcing people to make stark choices – like choosing between medicine and other necessities, or going without treatment, or going into debt or watching loved ones suffer without the drugs they need to get better.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Together, we can change the system to make sure everyone gets access to medicines they can afford. We are a coalition that has come together to fight for transformative, bold reforms through legislative, legal and executive actions at the state and federal level based on these four principles:
It is our government’s responsibility to guarantee that everyone in the United States, no matter where they live, what they look like or how much money they have, can afford the medicines they need to stay healthy and take care of their families. We oppose policies that put medicine out of reach for Americans or that deny or delay access to medicine for people in other countries.
Drug corporations and their lobbyists have rigged the rules of the pharmaceutical industry in order to drive up profits, putting medicines out of reach for millions of people. Their price gouging makes health and economic disparities even worse by putting the greatest pressure on the people who can least afford to bear the brunt of high prices. We must topple the barriers that systematically deny people access to medicines so that no one is left behind.
We must curb drug corporations’ power to extract profits at the expense of people’s health by harnessing the government’s power to improve patients’ lives. This requires a range of concrete steps that re-write the rules to rein in drug corporations’ monopoly power to price gouge; that requires the drug industry to negotiate fair prices with government; and that holds corporations accountable for practices that directly and indirectly keep prices unjustifiably high.
We as taxpayers help foot the bill for a substantial amount of drug research, development and innovation, for drug purchasing through Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration and for marketing, legal and patent protections for drug corporations. We must ensure government funding and incentives prioritize medical breakthroughs that most serve the public good rather than those that primarily extend monopolies and increase corporate profits. Everyone wants proven treatments and life-saving innovations, but prescription drugs are useless to people who can’t afford them. We must change the system to make sure everyone can benefit from our shared public investment in new drug research and development by ensuring that medicines are affordable and accessible to everyone.