Credo Action

Tell the Treasury Department: Investigate Big Pharma tax-dodging

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Petition to U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew:

"Immediately investigate Gilead Sciences for shifting billions of dollars in U.S. profits offshore in order to dodge taxes. If you find wrongdoing, force Gilead to pay the nearly $10 billion in taxes it owes to American taxpayers."

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    Tell the Treasury Department: Investigate Big Pharma tax-dodging

    Tens of thousands of CREDO members have demanded that President Obama use the laws on the books to crack down on Big Pharma monopolies – like the EpiPen manufacturer that jacked up prices more than 400 percent – and have helped change the national conversation.1

    But pharmaceutical companies don’t just exploit Americans with sky-high prices. They also dodge billions in taxes on their scandalous profits. In fact, a new report details how one company, Gilead Sciences, took advantage of federally funded research to develop a treatment for Hepatitis C, charged obscene prices for it, and then used loopholes and offshore accounts to avoid paying its fair share in taxes.2

    If we can get the Obama administration to put an end to Gilead’s tax-dodging, we will strike a major blow against all out-of-control pharmaceutical companies. That’s why we are teaming up with our friends at Americans for Tax Fairness to demand that Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew investigate Gilead and take immediate action.

    Tell the Treasury Department: Investigate Big Pharma tax-dodging.

    Gilead Sciences’ entire business model is to scam Americans. Gilead’s Hepatitis C medication would not have been possible without $4.2 million in federally funded research. The medicine itself costs only $1,500 to produce, for a full course of treatment. But the company immediately set prices at $84,000, and $95,000 for a follow-up. By some estimates, the American public pays Gilead $5 billion every year – while many sick people still cannot afford the medicine at all.3

    The company could have returned the favor to the American public by investing the proceeds in new, life-saving innovations. Instead, over the past decade, the company spent more on stock buybacks that pad the bottom lines of CEOs and wealthy investors than it did on research and development.4

    But it gets worse. Gilead has dodged $2 billion in taxes through a single loophole that allows for huge paychecks for company executives. It also owes taxes on at least $28.5 billion dollars parked offshore – making it harder for the rest of us to care for our communities and invest in the future. All in all, Gilead’s revenues have tripled in the last two years, while the real tax rate it ends up paying after loopholes has been nearly cut it half.5

    Tell the Treasury Department: Investigate Big Pharma tax-dodging.

    Gilead is pulling off this scam by filing paperwork in Ireland, a tax haven, while continuing to do business in America. In fact, a recent investigative report in an Irish newspaper confirmed earlier reports of Gilead’s tax-dodging.6 Now it’s time for the U.S. Treasury to investigate, identify proof of wrongdoing – and if Gilead broke the law as it appears, make the company pay its fair share.7

    Pharmaceutical companies use the offshore-profits trick more than almost any other industry, so any action against Gilead will hurt all of Big Pharma.8 But it will take a loud outcry to move this from the newspapers to an official investigation, which is why we must speak out.

    Tell the Treasury Department: Investigate Big Pharma tax-dodging.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    1. CREDO Action, “Tell President Obama: Rein in EpiPen price-gouging.
    2. Americans for Tax Fairness, “New Report: Gilead Sciences Price Gouger, Tax Dodger,” AmericansForTaxFairness.org, 2016.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Ibid.
    5. Ibid.
    6. Paul O’Donoghue, “A US pharma giant accused of gouging patients for drugs paid no tax on billion-euro Irish profits,” Fora.ie, August 21, 2016.
    7. Americans for Tax Fairness, “New Report: Gilead Sciences Price Gouger, Tax Dodger.”
    8. Ibid.