Statement from Margarida Jorge, campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now, on President-elect Biden’s speech on getting COVID under control:
“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.
The real heroes behind any vaccine or treatment for COVID that saves lives and helps us beat the pandemic are America’s taxpayers, not the drug corporations who after years of price-gouging consumers on all kinds of medicines are trying to score PR hits from claiming credit for a vaccine they would never have developed if not for billions in taxpayer incentives.
We sincerely hope that as part of the next administration’s commitment to getting the COVID pandemic under control they pass the MMAPPP Act to end monopoly control over drug prices.”