This action is too little, too late from a president that’s had four years to lower the cost of prescription drugs. It’s just the latest example in a long list of PR stunts from an administration that’s done nothing to hold Big Pharma accountable for hiking prices anytime they want to boost profits, or to make medicines affordable for millions who need them.
The news that Moderna’s vaccine, which is 100% funded by taxpayers according to the company, is highly effective is exciting. We look forward to the peer reviewed studies to confirm the findings. In the meantime, lawmakers should ensure that our significant taxpayer investments result in affordable access to this historic vaccine by passing the MMAPPP Act to end monopoly control over drug prices.
We’re so encouraged by President-elect Biden’s commitment to getting the COVID-19 crisis under control, in particular his emphasis that the distribution of a vaccine be ‘equitable and efficient.’
At the same time, let’s correct the record: these medicines are not ‘free’ — taxpayers have already paid more than $12 billion in taxpayer dollars to pharmaceutical corporations for their development and distribution. And until we end monopoly control over drug prices, we will continue to be at the mercy of Big Pharma who will put their profits over public health sooner or later, just as they’ve done with insulin, EPI Pens and HIV drugs.
It’s great news for everyone that Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine appears to be highly effective. But the only way we’re going to beat COVID is for lawmakers to guarantee that everyone everywhere can get affordable access to the medicine. A promise from Pfizer that their vaccine will be made available at no cost is nothing but a PR ploy–especially given how much the drug has already cost taxpayers.
Lower Drug Prices Now released a new report highlighting how drug corporations’ spending on lobbying and elections match up with Senator Susan Collins’ votes on health care and prescription drug pricing. The new report, Connecting the Dots on Pharma Lobbying, Political Donations and Senator Collins’ Votes on Drug Pricing and Access, shows that while Senator Collins claims to be independent from the Trump Administration and the drug industry, her votes tell a different story.
Donald Trump is once again hoping that a last-minute PR stunt is going to disguise his failure to stop Big Pharma price gouging. Let’s be clear: vaccines and treatments for COVID are not free–Americans have already paid more than $12 billion in tax dollars to develop and manufacture them. Thanks to Trump’s refusal to rein in Big Pharma’s monopoly power to set prices, Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance corporations will be required to pay Big Pharma whatever price the corporations set for these drugs. That means taxpayers will get stuck paying twice as costs are shifted into higher premiums and increased taxes.
The Oversight Committee’s findings that the Sackler family continued to push opioids into the market even after a settlement with the DOJ in 2007 inspire further outrage over the Trump Administration’s legal settlements that fail to hold Big Pharma executives accountable for their greed. The Sackler family knowingly peddled a dangerous drug that has cost the lives of more than 750,000 Americans to date, and created years of needless suffering for millions more. These families deserve justice, not more of the same for their neighbors and communities.