I’m not sure where to start. Yesterday I read a post on LinkedIn from someone who retired from our industry and is fighting MLS. She’s fighting with Medicare Advantage over treatment which will cost her $9,300 out-of-pocket. She asks, “why develop new treatments and make them only accessible to commercially insured patients?” She says, “as a past Pharma exec, we say a lot about putting the patient at the center of all we do and being patient-focused. But, I can tell you – sitting on the other side, being a patient with ALS – and constantly fighting for care – patients are not the most important priority. Sad to realize this.”
How much is enough? Moderna plans a 4,000% Markup for their Covid vaccine. This vaccine isn’t just Moderna’s; it was developed in collaboration with a government agency. “The sheer greed is obscene,” said PVA policy co-lead Julia Kosgei, who stressed that “billions of taxpayer dollars went into the development of mRNA vaccines.” Moderna’s vaccine would not exist without funding from U.S. taxpayers.
The pharma industry and its Republican allies in Congress are openly signaling their plans obstruct at every turn as the Biden administration looks to begin implementing a recently passed law allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices for the first time in its history. They’re using an argument debunked many times before money buys politicians.
BIO and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America continue to push their big lie that having the government negotiate prices for medicare will continue to hurt investment even though 83% of the public say they favor allowing the federal government to negotiate with drug companies to lower drug prices on behalf of people enrolled in Medicare. It’s part of PhRMA’s big lie used to buy politicians.
When it comes to DTC TV ads, most DTC marketers are clueless, illustrated by a product. Tepezza, which defies proven research of reach & frequency, not to mention that the incidence of TED is only 16 per 100,000 women. It’s a colossal waste of money demonstrating how lousy pharma DTC is.
PhRMA is lying to protect its profits, and the lies have reached a new height as the Senate moved to adopt modest drug pricing negotiation measures in the Inflation Reduction Act. The bill “could propel us light-years back into the dark ages of biomedical research,” Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, president of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, said last month. This is, of course, pure bullshit.
According to a STAT analysis of hundreds of financial filings, the CEOs of approximately 300 health care companies collectively took home more than $4.5 billion in 2021. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals CEO Leonard Schleifer represented 10% of that total on his own, pulling in an astounding $453 million. Sometimes there are no words.
In 2020, over 75% of AbbVie’s’ sales were made to American consumers, yet only 1% of AbbVie’s’ income was reported in the United States for tax purposes. AbbVie’s’ ability to exploit subsidiaries in offshore tax havens to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes on U.S. prescription drug sales signals that big pharma will do anything to avoid hurting profits.