May 9, 2016
Big Pharma to Become Even More Exclusive, More Expensive Cartel In False Attempt to Gain Friends
Statement From Peter Maybarduk, Director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program
Note: Reports indicate that the pharmaceutical industry’s lobbying group has adopted new membership rules that will oust many smaller companies by requiring member corporations to spend at least $200 million a year on research and development, based on a three-year average. Members also would show that their research and development spending amounts to at least 10 percent of their global sales.
PhRMA’s criteria won’t stop the bleeding. In the past three years the industry’s favorability ratings with the American public have dropped by 27 points according to Gallup. Pharma is among the most distrusted and disfavored industries, and Americans want to turn its business model upside down.
PhRMA’s tone-deaf criteria won’t justify the cruel profiteering practices of its corporate members and won’t protect the industry from ever-deepening public outrage, rooted in the pain and suffering of millions of people. For too long, patients have been forced to choose between paying their medical bills and keeping the lights on. Research investments are no excuse to abuse monopoly power and hold our well-being ransom.
Americans already invest billions of taxpayer dollars in biomedical research and development every year through the National Institutes of Health. We pay twice when PhRMA’s members charge us outrageous monopoly prices. It is a shame that PhRMA’s supposed rethink includes no effort whatsoever to reduce prices.