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Statement on this week’s Oversight hearings on drug pricing

Statement from Margarida Jorge, campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now, following this week’s Oversight Committee hearings on drug pricing:


“Building on the important work started by the late Chairman Elijah Cummings, the House Oversight Committee’s hearings this week exposed egregious price-gouging by pharmaceutical corporations that for too long have padded their profits at the expense of patients. So long as pharmaceutical corporations have monopoly control to charge whatever they want for prescription drugs, they will continue to gouge Americans for the medicines they rely on. Today, Americans pay more for our prescription drugs than people in other nations.  Millions of Americans are forced to ration or go without basic life-saving drugs.


Democrats have introduced several bills that would rein in drug corporation abuses, reduce prices and increase access. Poll after poll shows that Americans support government intervention to lower drug prices and hold corporations accountable for price-gouging. But, instead, President Trump and Republicans are going in the opposite direction: blocking meaningful legislation like the Lower Drug Costs Now Act to implement Part D negotiations and continuing their legal efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act, which saved seniors in Medicare billions and made prescription coverage a standard covered  “essential health benefit” for the first time in health policies.


Now more than ever, as the COVID pandemic continues to take jobs and health coverage from millions as well as endanger lives, Americans can’t afford more Big Pharma price gouging. It’s time for Congress to take the long-overdue action needed to ensure everyone can get affordable medicines, no matter where they live, what they look like or how much money they make.”




Findings from the Committee reports, outlined in Chairwoman Maloney’s opening statement:


  • Drug companies are hiking their prices higher and higher—and placing an ever-greater burden on the very patients who rely on these drugs to survive.
  • Claims by drug companies that their price increases are necessary for research and development are completely bogus.
  • Drug companies target our country for their biggest price increases, charging the American people more than the entire rest of the world combined.


Price gouging by the companies:

Celgene Corporation and Bristol Myers Squibb

  • Since launching Revlimid in 2005, Celgene raised the price of the drug 22 times, from $215 per pill to $719 per pill. After Bristol Myers Squibb obtained the rights to Revlimid last November, it raised the price of Revlimid again, to $763 per pill. Due to these price increases, a monthly course of Revlimid is priced at $16,023 today—more than triple the 2005 price.


  • Since launching Copaxone in 1997, Teva raised the price of the drug 27 times. Due to these price increases, a yearly course of Copaxone is priced at nearly $70,000 today as compared to less than $10,000 in 1997.

Thank You for standing with us to put people before Pharma Profits!

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