WASHINGTON, DC — Today, as drug company CEOs for Johnson & Johnson, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Merck prepare to appear before the U.S. Senate HELP Committee, government watchdog Accountable.US released a new report detailing how each company has profited, enriched wealthy shareholders, and handsomely rewarded their CEOs while price gouging U.S. patients and seniors on life-saving medications. 

Each of these companies filed their own lawsuit to block implementation of Medicare’s historic new power to negotiate lower prices with drug manufacturers, a program that is expected to save millions of seniors hundreds of dollars annually, on average. The report found Johnson & Johnson, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Merck shelled out $25.7 million in 2023 alone while lobbying against efforts to lower prescription drug costs. 

Big drug company CEOs can’t play the victim before lawmakers after bragging to investors of huge profits from charging American patients hundreds or thousands more for life-saving medicines."

Accountable.US executive director Tony Carrk.

“These executives could have made medications more affordable any time, instead they chose to pad profits, compensate themselves eight figures, and spend billions snatching up smaller companies while enriching wealthy investors. The same industry that pushed the limits of price-gouging for years now says there’s no need for Medicare to negotiate lower prices, even suing the Biden administration to keep the system rigged against seniors. No one’s buying the pharma CEOs excuses for greed except for Republicans in Congress dependent on their money.”

Combined, the three companies spent approximately $38.3 billion on acquisitions since 2023, with executives bragging these purchases will lead to even more growth and revenue. In 2022, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Merck’s CEOs brought in $13.1, $18.6, and $20 million in personal salary, respectively. 

1-in-4 Americans cannot afford life saving medicines, a fact each CEO will have the opportunity to address today when they explain why they are among the PhRMA-member companies that charge U.S. seniors and patients by far the highest prescription prices in the world

Read the full report here

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