Credo Action

Stand with Sen. Sanders: Fair prices for taxpayer-funded Rx drugs

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Petition to Congress:

"Force pharmaceutical companies to offer fair prices for drugs developed with taxpayer money. Support Sen. Bernie Sanders’ amendment to the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and Rep. Peter DeFazio's companion legislation in the House."

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    Stand with Sen. Sanders: Fair prices for taxpayer-funded Rx drugs

    Americans have spent more than $1 billion in taxpayer money on research and prevention of the mosquito-borne illness Zika, including millions to develop a vaccine.1

    Now, a greedy pharmaceutical giant, Sanofi, is poised to make a huge profit by refusing to sell that Zika vaccine back to Americans at a fair price. Progressive champion Sen. Bernie Sanders calls Sanofi’s plans “simply unacceptable,” and he’s right.2

    Sanders is fighting back with a rule to force Big Pharma to charge fair prices for drugs developed with federal funding – and he needs our help.

    Stand with Sen. Sanders: Fair prices for taxpayer-funded Rx drugs.

    “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli, who became infamous when he bought a lifesaving medication and jacked the price by 5,000 percent, was just recently found guilty of fraud.3 But CREDO members like you know that – while Shkreli is the worst example of Big Pharma’s exploitation – the problems go much deeper.

    Sanofi has a history of reportedly charging Americans more than people in other countries for its drugs. The company faces a lawsuit from diabetes patients for hiking the price of insulin, and it sells a drug for multiple sclerosis for eight times as much in the United States as it charges in the United Kingdom and France.4

    Americans have already spent more than $1 billion on Zika prevention and research. That amount includes millions to investigate and produce a vaccine. Sanofi itself has already received $43 million from the U.S. government and is on track to receive $130 million more. Despite all of this, the U.S. Army plans to give the company a monopoly – an exclusive license to produce a Zika vaccine. Sanders has been fighting this latest handout to Big Pharma for months. His new rule would prevent companies from gaining patents on drugs developed with federal dollars unless they offer fair prices similar to those offered in other countries.5

    Sanofi, a French pharmaceutical giant, raked in more than $10 billion in just one quarter of 2017. More than one-third of its billions in revenue comes from the United States, and its CEO pocketed nearly $5 million last year.6 This is the company that will now have monopoly rights to charge as much as it wants for a Zika vaccine.

    Stand with Sen. Sanders: Fair prices for taxpayer-funded Rx drugs.

    Pharmaceutical companies increasingly outsource research and development to the federal government and universities, focusing their business on exploiting sick people by securing monopoly rights to charge exorbitant prices. Pfizer, for example, is charging $129,000 for a one-year prostate cancer treatment – even though UCLA developed the drug with taxpayer-funded research grants and despite charging only $30,000 to patients in Canada.7

    As Sen. Sanders notes (emphasis ours):

    “The days of allowing Sanofi and other drug makers to gouge American consumers after taking billions in taxpayer money must end… This is a fight that we cannot afford to lose.”8

    We need to speak up and support Sen. Sanders’ drug price fairness rule, as well as Rep. Peter DeFazio’s companion legislation in the House.

    Stand with Sen. Sanders: Fair prices for taxpayer-funded Rx drugs.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Sen. Bernie Sanders, “Sanders Introduces Rule to Require Fair Pricing on Taxpayer-Funded Drugs,” July 31, 2017.
    2. Ibid.
    3. Stephanie Clifford and Colin Moynihan, “Martin Shkreli Is Found Guilty of Fraud,” The New York Times, Aug. 4, 2017.
    4. Alexander Kaufman, “Bernie Sanders To Propose New Rule Requiring Fair Prices For Taxpayer-Funded Drugs,” HuffPost, July 31, 2017.
    5. Sen. Sanders, “Sanders Introduces Rule to Require Fair Pricing on Taxpayer-Funded Drugs.”
    6. Kaufman, “Bernie Sanders To Propose New Rule Requiring Fair Prices For Taxpayer-Funded Drugs.”
    7. Sen. Sanders, “Sanders Introduces Rule to Require Fair Pricing on Taxpayer-Funded Drugs.”
    8. Ibid.