Washington, D.C. – Today, Lower Drug Prices Now joined nonpartisan ethics watchdog groups American Oversight and Accountable.US in filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for information on the pricing, cost and affordability of COVID-19 vaccines or treatment created by AstraZeneca, Merck and Pfizer.
“At the same time we’re handing billions in taxpayer dollars over to Big Pharma companies for COVID treatments and vaccines, no strings attached, they’re continuing with the same business-as-usual approach of gouging patients. How many times do the same companies have to prove that they can’t be trusted before we lawmakers take action to end Pharma companies’ monopoly control to charge patients any price they want?”
“For decades, these drug corporations have held the healthcare of billions of people hostage, lining their pockets to become the most profitable industry in the nation,” said Margarida Jorge, national campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now. “Apparently Dr. Fauci, a senior public health official responsible for our nation’s COVID response, believes that’s okay. Big Pharma should not be the ones deciding the cost of a vaccine, full stop.”
Politico Pulse – 6/9/20
“Mergers and consolidation in the drug space usually end badly for consumers said Margarida Jorge, campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now. Affordable vaccines and treatments should be a priority during the Covid-19 pandemic but “we can’t do that if they’re not affordable because massive drug conglomerates are allowed to charge any price they want,” Jorge said in a statement.”
Inside Health Policy – 6/9/20
The federal government this month will run out of the only drug shown to help COVID-19 patients recover, and it is not clear whether Gilead will continue to provide new supplies of remdesivir to HHS for free. HHS will send out its last batch of remdesivir to states on June 29, an HHS official told Inside Health Policy, though it will reserve less than 10% of its supply in case “hotspots emerge in the coming weeks.”
Las Vegas Sun – 6/8/20
“This move is another political stunt from a president worried about his poll numbers with seniors as his broken campaign promises keep stacking up,” said Margarida Jorge, national campaign director for the advocacy group Lower Drug Prices Now.
“Mergers and consolidation in the pharmaceutical industry is bad news for patients, and could prove even more harmful as demand for affordable COVID treatments and vaccines is bound to increase. Drug corporations already have monopoly control to charge patients inflated prices for prescription drugs in the past few years. Corporations like AstraZeneca and Gilead have historically used their monopoly power to price-gouge patents for necessary medicines, charging sometimes tens of thousands of dollars for a single treatment. “