For Immediate Release:
Contact: Lauren Blair
The trade association representing the world’s biggest drug manufacturers – which are making record-breaking profits – is investing millions of dollars into … lobbying, advertising and public relations with the goal of “convincing the public that the industry isn’t ‘getting away with murder,’ as Trump put it, and that others are to blame for the country’s [out-of-control drug prices],” according to Axios in an in-depth look at the trade association’s tax filing for 2017.
According to the trade association’s 990, the organization last year spent:
- $8.6 million on registered state and federal lobbying – up 126 percent since 2016.
- $17 million on advertising and public relations – 10 times what it spent a year earlier.
- $3.1 million on the CEO’s salary alone – up nine percent from his 2016 salary.
Beyond the traditional lobbying and communications efforts, what stood out prominently in the filing was the organization’s large contribution to the Addition Policy Forum, a nonprofit partnership focused on preventing and treating addiction. This contribution seems wildly disingenuous when you consider that the trade association’s members:
- Raise their drug prices so exorbitantly that one in four Americans cannot afford their medications. Just look at Evizio, the $4,000 drug that reverses opioid overdoses, that costs the manufacturer, Kaleo, about a nickel to make.
- Aggressively lobbied earlier this year to get a multi-billion-dollar windfall for themselves in legislation specifically intended to combat the opioid epidemic – a crisis that they helped create. Even though Congress rejected the proposal because it would have cost seniors and taxpayers billions of dollars, Big Pharma is still pushing its position all over Washington.
- Announced drug price hikes with no explanation after making a show of pausing price increases earlier this year. Now, during the holiday season, hardworking families are being forced to re-evaluate their budgets to account for the additional medical expenses.
Just as CSRxP said in response to Pfizer’s recent price-gouging announcement, “pharmaceutical companies can’t be expected to do the right thing. It will be up to Congress and President Trump to hold them accountable through bipartisan, market-based solutions.”
About the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing
The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP) is a broad-based coalition of leaders – physicians, nurses, hospitals, consumers, health plans, PBMs, pharmacists, and businesses – promoting bipartisan, market-based solutions to lower drug prices in America.