Above all pharma companies are a business

  • Pharma companies don’t really care about patients despite all their hubris.
  • PhRMA has already spent $21 million on lobbying this year — a sum that puts it on course to smash its previous annual lobbying records.
  • Pharmaceutical companies have been top performers in the healthcare sector in an era of aging populations, rising health care costs, and the ongoing development of new and extremely profitable medicines.
  • Research shows that 78 percent of patents approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration correspond to medications already on the market.
  • Large pharma companies spend more on share buybacks to boost share prices (and stock options — the main way that executives get paid) than on research and development.

Walk into the lobby of any pharma headquarters and you’re likely to find some bold vision statements about health and/or patients.  They really don’t mean a damn thing.  Pharma’s first customer continues to be Wall Street not patients.  They won’t do anything to help patients unless there is a an ROI associated with it.

PhRMA has been very active in spending on lobbying with our bought and paid for politicians. In all likelihood they are going to surpass the amount of money they spend on lobbying with one goal in mind: keep pharma profitable.  At the same time they pretend that the pharma industry is the greatest gift to mankind.

Pharma has used the tax cuts to benefit its own stocks.  Large pharma companies spend more on share buybacks to boost share prices (and stock options — the main way that executives get paid) than on research and development. Pfizer, for example, spent $139 billion on share buybacks and dividends in the past decade — and just $82 billion on research and development in the same period. (The chief executive’s pay was also a reported $27.9 million in 2017.)

What about new drugs?  Immune therapy drugs are hot right now with Merck and BMS fighting for the lead so what is pharma doing?  Numerous companies are getting ready to launch copycat drugs to try and take a piece of this lucrative pie.  They all want their share of the profits.

In the meantime Pfizer has announced that they are laying off 2,000 people.  Their press release says it’s to eliminate duplication, but that’s garbage.  It’s about eliminating jibs to make the balance sheet look better.

BMS says it has to wait for more results for one of their drug combo’s so Wall Street punishes them with a hit to their stock price rather than look at the long term benefits.

Make no mistake about it, pharma is a business and their primary business is to make money patients be dammed.

 

 

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