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.
Today’s vote puts Americans one step closer to losing access to affordable health care, including access to affordable medicines that millions need to stay alive. No one in America wants to find themselves seriously ill and unable to see a doctor or get the medicines they need to get better or take care of their families, especially in the middle of a pandemic.
Over Half Know Someone Diagnosed with COVID-19
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new survey of Latino registered voters in Arizona, California, Florida, and Pennsylvania conducted by Lake Research Partners on behalf of UnidosUS Action Fund and Lower Drug Prices Now found that Latinos are very concerned about the cost of prescription drugs, and close to 90 percent say the government should “make prescription drugs that were developed using research funded by taxpayer money available at an affordable price.”
“This settlement is a betrayal to the families of the more than 750,000 Americans who have lost their lives due to the opioid epidemic and countless others whose lives have been shattered by addiction. According to this settlement, not one of Purdue Pharma’s top executives has yet been held criminally liable for their role in the opioid epidemic. And thanks to Trump’s Justice Department, the Sacklers will still come out ahead, with the fine making up only a fraction of the profit one of the country’s richest families made from peddling poison to Americans in pain.