CSRxP: Big Pharma Desperate to Distract from Egregious Pricing Practices

Jun 12, 2019

Drug Makers Intensify Blame Game While Seeking to Avoid Accountability

Washington, D.C. – The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP) today issued a statement after fresh evidence that PhRMA and BIO, the principal trade groups representing Big Pharma, have ramped-up their blame game tactics targeting others in the health care system to avoid accountability for their egregious pricing practices.

“Big Pharma is ramping up its blame game attacks in a desperate attempt to distract policymakers from their egregious pricing practices and lead role in the crisis of rising prescription drug prices,” said CSRxP executive director Lauren Aronson. “More than ever, the American people overwhelmingly agree Washington must hold Big Pharma accountable with market-based solutions to increase competition and boost transparency.”

One of the policies brand name drug makers are pushing with renewed vigor, as part of their blame game campaign, is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Rebate Rule.

“Big Pharma’s unvarnished enthusiasm for the proposed Rebate Rule should be enough cause for the administration and lawmakers in Congress to take a step back,” Aronson noted. “Policymakers in Washington should take pause when the leading culprit for the crisis of prescription drug prices in America shows such ardor for a controversial policy.”

“We, of course, know why Big Pharma is so eager to see the Rebate Rule enacted,” Aronson continued. “The rule hands drug makers a more than $100 billion bailout and greater unilateral control over prices at the expense of seniors and taxpayers. At the same time, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has confirmed the rule won’t result in lower list prices.”

A recent CSRxP survey, conducted by Morning Consult, found a clear majority of the American people blame Big Pharma’s practices for the crisis of rising prescription drug prices.

  • Nearly 60 percent of Americans blame Big Pharma’s anti-competitive tactics and price gouging for rising prescription drug prices.

The survey also found Americans overwhelmingly want policymakers in Washington to focus on market-based solutions to hold Big Pharma accountable, rather than measures targeting drug rebates.

  • By a whopping 68-point margin, 84 to 16 percent, U.S. adults believe policymakers in Washington should focus on cracking down on the anti-competitive and price gouging tactics of Big Pharma rather than on eliminating rebates.
  • America’s seniors, in particular, believe policymakers should focus on Big Pharma rather than rebates, by a massive margin of 92 to 8 percent.

The poll also demonstrated Americans have serious concerns with and oppose the proposed Rebate Rule.

  • Americans informed about the Rebate Rule and its projected impacts oppose the measure by a margin of 45 to 17 percent, a 28-point spread.
  • A convincing 88 percent of survey respondents express concern with premium hikes for Medicare Part D beneficiaries projected under the rule, including 60 percent who expressed being “very concerned.”
  • More than 85 percent of Americans nationwide express concern (and more than 50 percent express being “very concerned”) with Big Pharma’s support of the rule, the projected boost to Big Pharma’s bottom line, the projected cost to taxpayers and the lack of a guarantee that the rule will lower drug prices.