The letters, sent by 33 organizations across 14 states, call for prosecutorial accountability against the drug maker
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
WASHINGTON – Today, organizations representing 14 states in every region of the U.S. sent letters to their respective Attorneys General requesting that they investigate Jaguar Health’s recent attempts to profiteer off the coronavirus pandemic by tripling the price of the drug Mytesi. Grassroots leaders from across the progressive landscape joined together in a unified response to the actions of Jaguar Health: Big Pharma’s business as usual model must end with COVID. A full list of the organizations that sent letters is included below.
In April, Jaguar Health tripled the price of its anti-diarrheal drug Mytesi as it seeks approval from the federal government for the drug to be used as a treatment for coronavirus symptoms. Mytesi is currently approved for use by HIV/AIDs patients. The drug maker’s attempts to profit from the coronavirus pandemic explicitly demonstrate the need for legislative action, and safeguards that ensure affordability, and prioritize the health of all Americans, no matter how much money they have in their bank account.
“On behalf of our members and as part of the national Lower Drug Prices Now coalition, we urge you to investigate Jaguar Health’s recent decision to triple the price of Mytesi, an act of unscrupulous profiteering during this pandemic,” the letters state.
“Raising the price of a potential COVID treatment is an unconscionable act of greed at a time when millions of Americans have lost their jobs and health insurance and are already facing bigger expenses and higher prices for everything from hand sanitizer to food and dry goods.”
“We are urging elected officials at all levels to take action to protect the public by putting a stop to profiteering and holding corporations accountable for the harm they cause by jacking up the price of essential goods–like medicine–during a time when demand will be tremendous and resources limited.
“As members of the Lower Drug Prices Now coalition, we urge you to do everything in your power to enforce consumer protection and anti-profiteering law to hold Jaguar Health and other drug corporations accountable – and where the laws are inadequate to the task of protecting people from profiteering, we encourage you to work with Congress to fix them.”
Earlier this month, the Chair of the House Oversight Committee sent a letter to Jaguar Health requesting communications pertaining to the price increases by May 18.
Organizations that sent letters include:
California – California Alliance for Retired Americans
Connecticut – Connecticut Citizen Action Group
Indiana – Faith in Indiana and Hoosier Action
Iowa – Iowa Citizen Action Network
Maine – Maine People’s Alliance
Montana – Big Sky 55+
Nevada – Battleborn Progress
Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN)
Virginia – Virginia Organizing
Wisconsin – Citizen Action of Wisconsin
Lower Drug Prices Now is a national coalition of nearly 60 social, racial and economic justice organizations with members in all fifty states. We are committed to transformative, systemic and bold reforms to ensure everyone has access to affordable medicines — no matter where they live, what they look like or how much money they have. Learn more at www.lowerdrugpricesnow.org and follow us on Twitter @peopleb4pharma.