Statement from Margarida Jorge, Campaign Director, Lower Drug Prices Now, on the news that former GlaxoSmithKline executive Moncef Slaoui was named to head the White House’s “Operation Warp Speed”:

Thursday, May 14, 2020

“It should surprise absolutely no one that this White House has put a senior pharma executive in charge of coordinating COVID vaccines and treatments. This is deeply concerning. Once again, the Trump administration has put the fox in charge of the hen house.

“We can’t beat COVID unless we address the public health crisis that has shuttered our economy and already killed over 80,000 people. We need officials and lawmakers who will stand up to drug corporations and ensure that treatments and vaccines for COVID are affordable and accessible to everyone. For decades, we’ve seen Big Pharma use crisis after crisis to price gouge patients, boost profits and line the pockets of their executives and shareholders. Time after time these same corporations are rewarded with generous tax breaks and monopoly power to set prices as high as they want.

“Trump administration officials so far have refused to guarantee affordability, even for medicines developed with our taxpayer money. Will Moncef Slaoui be different? As he takes on this new role, advocates will be watching closely to see whether Slaoui supports Pharma’s business as usual profiteering at patients’ expense, or whether he will work with Congress to take immediate steps that guarantee vaccines and treatments are available to everyone at low or no cost by blocking any corporations from gaining monopoly control to set prices.”

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