“Drug corporations are masterful at marketing. They recognize the current race for a COVID vaccine as a fantastic opportunity for free PR to redeem some of their tarnished brands. We expect in today’s subcommittee hearing that officials from AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna and Pfizer will show up to position their companies as good-faith philanthropists wanting to save the day with a COVID vaccine. But the public knows there’s only one thing that motivates Big Pharma: more profits.”
Ahead of tomorrow’s House E&C Oversight subcommittee hearing Lower Drug Prices Now produced this memo with background on Operation Warp Speed, and the five drug corporations leading testifying at tomorrow’s hearing.
The Independent – 7/18/20
“The basic idea that he’s in a really privileged position with lots of resources to command and that he has a personal financial stake in the industry is really challenging,” Margarida Jorge, the campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now, the second watchdog, told The Times.
“Everyone can appreciate that Dr Slaoui has expertise in the development of vaccines, but expertise and ethics should not be mutually exclusive.”
“In a statement, Margarida Jorge, campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now, said the group has no faith that Slaoui will act ethically.”
“There is no reason to believe that Mr. Slaoui will operate any differently than the many other former Pharma executives who litter the administration and consistently protect the interests of their industry allies over public health and patients,” Jorge said.”
Pharmaceutical Technology, GlobalData Healthcare – 7/16/20
Margarida Jorge, campaign director, Lower Drug Prices Now, was more forthright. “This White House seems to have an open spigot of taxpayer dollars going to drug corporations that profiteer off of pandemics,” she commented. “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.”
Salon – 7/16/20
“We oppose this kind of corruption and blatant conflict of interest,” said the healthcare coalition Lower Drug Prices Now in response to the ruling.
“The ruling by the HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) came in response to an ethics complaint filed in May by Public Citizen and Lower Drug Prices Now.”
STAT – 7/16/20
“He should be just as accountable to the American people as any other government official,” Margarda Jorge, who heads the advocacy group Lower Drug Prices Now.