Credo Action

Tell Congress: Don’t give Big Pharma more monopolies

Sign the petition

Petition to Congress:

"Oppose the Orphan Product Extensions Now (OPEN) Act, which would grant drug manufacturers six additional months of exclusivity, the monopoly power that allows the companies to charge as much as they like."

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    Tell Congress: Don’t give Big Pharma more monopolies

    Americans pay the highest pharmaceutical drug prices in the world.1 Now, Congress wants to make the situation worse.

    Drug costs are already breaking the bank for tens of millions of Americans. But Big Pharma lobbyists are pushing a bill that would extend pharmaceutical monopolies and let companies exploit sick Americans for profit for an additional six months.2

    Pharmaceutical companies are hoping to sneak this measure through as an amendment to must-pass legislation. That’s why we are teaming up with our friends at Social Security Works to make it clear to members of Congress from both parties that we are paying attention and won’t stand for more handouts to Big Pharma.

    Tell Congress: Don’t give Big Pharma longer monopolies.

    Congress originally passed the Orphan Drug Act in 1982 in hopes to make headway against rare diseases. The legislation offered tax credits and monopolies as incentives for companies to produce cures, but Big Pharma has spent the last few decades exploiting the act to rake in big bucks.3

    We need legislators willing to take on Big Pharma and fight to rein in abuses, monopolies and corporate concentration in the drug industry. Instead, some in Congress are pushing a bill that would extend monopoly rights for an additional six months.

    In fact, if this bill becomes law, drug companies will be able to take drugs that are already on the market, repurpose them slightly, and call them “orphan” drugs and then hold monopoly rights. Patients would have no access to competing drugs at lower prices. Pharmaceutical giants would reap huge rewards while sick people could go broke trying to pay the bills.4 We can’t let pharmaceutical lobbyists push this toxic proposal without a fight.

    Tell Congress: Don’t give Big Pharma longer monopolies.

    Big Pharma’s business model today is to use exclusive rights to produce certain medicines to charge as much as possible for as long as possible. Companies increasingly outsource innovation to universities or government research while focusing on building monopoly control over patents. The goal is to suck as much money out of people as possible instead of improving their health.

    A loud outcry now will send a stern message that Congress should focus on reining in Big Pharma’s abuses instead of giving them new loopholes to exploit.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Tom McKay, “Here's How Much More the US Spends on Medicine Than Everyone Else, in 6 Charts,” Mic, Sept. 23, 2015.
    2. Alex Lawson, “OPEN Act Opposition Letter,” Social Security Works, July 19, 2017.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Ibid.