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.
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
“Today’s worldwide pandemic should remind us all that we are linked in an international economy where we may all be impacted by developments in nations thousands of miles away. The United States has had a long legacy of global leadership in many areas, but President Trump’s current posture on coronavirus medicines has so far been disappointing, both at home and abroad.
“While Trump and the White House say ‘the last thing anyone is looking for is profit,’ they refuse to commit,
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
“This White House seems to have an open spigot of taxpayer dollars going to drug corporations that profiteer off of pandemics. They’re gearing up to give the largest award in history to a corporate executive who quintupled the price of naloxone in the middle of the opioid epidemic. Yet again, the administration is handing over taxpayer dollars away to a drug corporation with no strings attached and no guarantee that we’ll get affordable access to the medicines developed with our money.
The letters, sent by 33 organizations across 14 states, call for prosecutorial accountability against the drug maker
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
WASHINGTON – Today, organizations representing 14 states in every region of the U.S. sent letters to their respective Attorneys General requesting that they investigate Jaguar Health’s recent attempts to profiteer off the coronavirus pandemic by tripling the price of the drug Mytesi. Grassroots leaders from across the progressive landscape joined together in a unified response to the actions of Jaguar Health: Big Pharma’s business as usual model must end with COVID.
Thursday, May 14, 2020
“It should surprise absolutely no one that this White House has put a senior pharma executive in charge of coordinating COVID vaccines and treatments. This is deeply concerning. Once again, the Trump administration has put the fox in charge of the hen house.
“We can’t beat COVID unless we address the public health crisis that has shuttered our economy and already killed over 80,000 people. We need officials and lawmakers who will stand up to drug corporations and ensure that treatments and vaccines for COVID are affordable and accessible to everyone.
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
“This package focuses on the most immediate relief and recovery needs. We hope President Trump and Senate Leader McConnell will follow Speaker Pelosi’s lead and take swift action to help millions who desperately need it. But we also believe that Congress must take action to stop drug corporations from profiteering off the current pandemic as they have many times in the past on everything from diabetes to HIV/AIDS. Lower Drug Prices Now is working with lawmakers at every level to guarantee that COVID medicines and vaccines will be affordable at low or no cost for everyone.
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Washington, DC — Nonpartisan ethics watchdog American Oversight and the Lower Drug Prices Now coalition today filed four Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for information on the development of coronavirus vaccines and the agency’s plans for making vaccines available to the public.
The requests ask for the release of written agreements and communications between HHS officials and pharmaceutical companies Johnson &
Minnesota’s Attorney General, T1International, and national reform leaders join Lower Drug Prices Now to demand No Pandemic Profiteering from Gilead and other drug corporations
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
WASHINGTON — Today, the Lower Drug Prices Now coalition co-hosted a press call following Eli Lilly’s shareholder meeting and in advance of Gilead’s to demand that COVID treatments developed with taxpayer dollars be affordable and accessible to all.
A recording of the call is available HERE.
“This is great news. But based on Gilead’s record, we’re deeply concerned that they’ll use their monopoly control to price-gouge patients and make this potentially life-saving treatment unaffordable and inaccessible. Remdesivir was developed using tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, and should be made available at no additional cost. Congress and the Trump administration must require that COVID vaccines and treatments be affordable for all, before it’s too late.”
Background: Gilead has a history of gouging patients.
Lower Drug Prices Now joined by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, heads of American Federation of Teachers and Alliance for Retired Americans, and Jon ‘Bowzer’ Bauman to demand No Pandemic Profiteering
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Washington – Today, the Lower Drug Prices Now coalition co-hosted a telephone town hall to demand access to affordable COVID drugs for seniors and call on Big Pharma not to profiteer off of the coronavirus pandemic.
Thursday, April 23, 2020
New Jersey — Today, Lower Drug Prices Now coalition partners Health Care Voter, New Jersey Citizen Action, and New Jersey Organizing Project joined together to tell Johnson & Johnson not to profiteer off of the coronavirus pandemic.
The town hall featured Rev. Dr. William Barber II, Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs, policy advisor for Doctors Without Borders Sharonann Lynch, parent advocate Eileen Palazza, secretary-treasurer of Health Professionals and Allied Employees Alexis Rean-Walker,
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Leaders Urge Congress To Take Action In Next Relief Bill To Ensure Drug Companies Can’t Exploit This Crisis
Former Senator Tom Harkin joined Lower Drug Prices Now, local groups and Iowans directly impacted by COVID-19, for a tele-town hall Tuesday at 6:00pm CT to urge Congress to take action to prevent pandemic profiteering by drug companies charged with developing COVID treatments and vaccines.
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Leaders Urge Congress To Take Action In Next Relief Bill To Ensure All Workers Get Low Cost COVID Medicines
Congressmen Chuy Garcia and Steven Horsford joined Lower Drug Prices Now and frontline workers for a tele-town hall urging Congress to guarantee affordable medicines and vaccines for workers by preventing pandemic profiteering by drug corporations that received taxpayer funds for developing COVID treatments.
Essential frontline workers in hospitals,
“What a surprise. It appears that Donald Trump’s obsession with pushing an untested, and potentially deadly drug, has more to do with his political health than the country’s health. This is exactly how the system works. Big Pharma uses campaign contributions and their armies of lobbyists to buy influence in Washington to advance their agenda and put their profits over our health. It is shameful and scandalous. And in this case, it may be deadly.
Below is a statement from Margarida Jorge, national campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now:
“Johnson & Johnson’s promise to provide a future coronavirus vaccine on a ‘not-for-profit basis’ rings hollow. J&J has a record of promising not-for-profit prices on life-saving drugs, and then gouging patients for the same medicines later on. That’s why we know we can’t trust Johnson & Johnson not to profiteer on this one.
“We shouldn’t have to depend on goodwill or promises from drug corporations to get access to affordable treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.
Lower Drug Prices Now shared recommendations with the Presidential candidates on how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure affordable treatments and vaccines for all.
The following is a statement from Margarida Jorge, national campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now:
“The explosive report in the New York Times showing that President Trump has financial ties to the company making a version of the experimental drug he is pushing raises serious ethical, moral and legal questions that need to be immediately investigated by Congress. Is Trump personally profiting from this crisis? Is he helping his buddies in the pharmaceutical industry profiteer from the pandemic?
WASHINGTON (March 26, 2020) – The United States Senate just passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill in response to the coronavirus crisis in the United States. The legislation includes provisions to support hospitals, small businesses and distressed companies caught in the public health and economic fallout from the pandemic.
The following is a statement from Margarida Jorge, national campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now:
“This package is a step towards helping Americans stay healthy and get back on their feet in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.
Instead, Drug Should Come With Affordability Guardrails
Statement from Margarida Jorge, Campaign Director, Lower Drug Prices Now
Washington, DC (March 24, 2020) — Yesterday the Trump Administration gave the drug corporation Gilead Sciences special monopoly protection on the promising COVID-19 treatment Remdesivir, giving them a green light to price gouge on a desperately needed treatment.
It’s especially outrageous considering the significant public investment taxpayers have made to the research and development of Remdesivir by the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and the Centers for Disease Control.
WASHINGTON (March 20, 2020) – Since the start of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. the Lower Drug Prices Now Coalition has been sounding the alarm about potential Big Pharma price gouging if President Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Azar fail to enact price control measures that ensure affordability.
To listen to the press conference, click: Audio recording (speaking begins at 3:30 mark) of the press conference
(Des Moines, Iowa, March 18, 2020) — We hear a lot from national sources about the continuing needs, concerns and spread of the COVID-19 virus. Today we heard from real Iowans representing Iowa government, small business, healthcare, and senior communities about the effects in Iowa.
Washington (March 12, 2020) – President Trump announced a new pilot project to cap insulin costs at $35 a month for people with diabetes participating in Medicare Part D. However, the proposed initiative is voluntary for drug makers and insurers and includes no controls on prices or negotiating power.
Statement from Margarida Jorge, campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now:
“This proposal does nothing to make drug corporations lower prices.
WASHINGTON, DC – On Thursday, March 5 at 1pm, the Lower Drug Prices Now (LDPN) coalition, representing millions of Americans angered by Big Pharma’s price-gouging, will join Sen. Chris Van Hollen, and Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Lloyd Doggett in demanding that President Trump and Secretary Azar guarantee that any coronavirus treatment or vaccine developed with taxpayer dollars be affordable for all.
The Lower Drug Prices Now coalition advocates for comprehensive drug pricing reform that prioritizes public health ahead of corporate profit particularly when it comes to medicines funded by taxpayer research.
WASHINGTON (March 3, 2020) – President Trump met with pharmaceutical corporate executives today about finding a vaccine and treatment for the COVID-19 coronavirus, which is approaching 90,000 infections worldwide and has killed six people in the United States.
Despite calls from dozens of lawmakers for the Trump administration to prevent Pharma companies from hiking up the cost of a potential vaccine, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, a former drug executive himself,
Despite tremendous Congressional action in the past three weeks, the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a huge toll on our families, our front-line workers and on the economy.
It’s clear Congress must take more action to ensure we can contain the disease, protect the workers we depend on for so many basic necessities, and put in place health care resources we need to help millions of people get or stay healthy.
Congress has already invested more than $3.7 billion in research to develop COVID drugs and vaccines. But so far, the Trump Administration has refused to guarantee that prescription drug corporations will make those medicines affordable. In fact, Big Pharma companies are already trying to profiteer off monopoly prices just as we’ve seen them do with insulin, Epi-Pens and many other prescription drugs.
It’s up to Congress to make sure our taxpayer dollars get us vaccines and treatments that we can all afford by stopping the drug corporations from profiteering off of today’s pandemic.
No matter where you come from, what you look like or what’s in your wallet, we could all get sick from the current pandemic. We all need affordable medicine to get healthy and to take care of our families.
The United States has a long legacy of effectively battling epidemics like measles, polio and rubella to save millions of lives. But vaccines and medicines can’t work if we can’t afford them because drug monopolies demand sky-high prices.
It’s time to get ahead of the curve. A long term plan to stop COVID-19 in its tracks requires that taxpayer funded treatments and vaccines we need to eradicate the disease will be available and affordable to all. Congress must take action now to stop pandemic profiteering, to ensure affordable and widespread access to vaccines and treatments as soon as they are available.