Center for American Progress

RELEASE: How Big Pharma Reaps Profits While Hurting Everyday Americans
Press Release

RELEASE: How Big Pharma Reaps Profits While Hurting Everyday Americans

Washington, D.C. — Perhaps no policy area exemplifies Washington’s culture of  corruption more than the issue of drug pricing. A new issue brief by the Center for American Progress looks at how Big Pharma benefits from a cozy relationship with many members of Congress and the Trump administration, even as drug prices skyrocket.

Among the key findings of the report:

  • Pharmaceutical companies benefit from research and development tax credits and receive a tax deduction for marketing and advertising expenses—but despite these, Big Pharma keeps increasing the cost of lifesaving or life-sustaining drugs
  • Drug companies also benefit from patents, which provide them with monopoly rights over drugs that are currently on-patent. They exploit these benefits by using certain tactics to extend the life of a patent in order to maximize profitability. This comes at the expense of accessibility for everyday Americans who could benefit from the drug
  • In 2016, Trump made grandiose promises about cutting drug prices. But since he’s been in office, he’s only proposed a handful of half-measures that show the administration’s lack of commitment to lowering drug prices. Additionally, Big Pharma’s congressional allies continue to rake in enormous sums of campaign cash as they stand in the way of relief for everyday Americans.

“Americans are increasingly struggling to access the life-sustaining drugs they need to live healthy, productive lives,” said William Roberts, managing director for Democracy and Government Reform at the Center for American Progress. “Much of this struggle can be traced back to Washington, where pharmaceutical companies are given carte blanche to gouge sick people. Most egregiously, this price gouging is essentially taxpayer subsidized through the extensive tax credits they receive. It’s clear that reducing drug prices is not possible without fixing the culture of corruption in Washington.”

Please click here to read How Big Pharma Reaps Profits While Hurting Everyday Americans by Abbey Meller and Hauwa Ahmed.

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Colin Seeberger at [email protected] or 202-741-6292.