WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Donald Trump’s vaccine czar – who has extensive ties to the pharmaceutical industry – should be subject to conflict of interest and disclosure rules, Public Citizen and Lower Drug Prices Now said in a complaint filed today.
“At this point, we have to assume that conflicts of interest are a prerequisite to working in the Trump administration,” said Margarida Jorge, national campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now. “The Vice President’s Chief of Staff holds stock in the very prescription drug corporations receiving taxpayer funding for coronavirus treatments.”
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.
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.
“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.”
“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.”
“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. Congress must step in and take action now.”