Washington D.C. — As the Inflation Reduction Act heads to President Biden’s desk that includes long overdue authority for Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices with big drug companies, an analysis from Accountable.US found the pharmaceutical industry has spent at least $205 million in recent years lobbying and resisting lower drug prices for seniors and families. This includes over $57 million in paid ads PhRMA and its allies ran against Medicare drug negotiations over the last year.
Big Pharma spent massive sums to maintain the broken status quo where drug companies could charge whatever they please while millions of seniors are left to choose between food and medicine. Medicare finally being allowed to harness its bulk purchasing power will save lives. The same big drug companies that claim they can’t afford to offer fairer prices have continued to break profit records and enrich a small group of wealthy investors on the backs of patients in need for years – all while paying virtually nothing in taxes. Industry opposition to lower drug prices has always been about squeezing maximum profits out of vulnerable consumers. Luckily their efforts failed, and the American people won. The Inflation Reduction Act is a case study in how change demanded by Americans for years didn't come easily in the face of powerful and greedy special interests with plenty of lawmakers in their pockets -- but it’s possible.”
Liz Zelnick, Accountable.US spokesperson
The analysis follows Accountable.US’ recent findings that major drug company CEOs have raked in over $292.6 million in compensation while their companies saw skyrocketing profits – at a time Americans spend an average of $1,200 per person on Rx drugs and as many as 18 million Americans simply cannot afford their prescribed medications. The government watchdog also previously found Republican lawmakers on the House Energy & Commerce Committee who voted against allowing Medicare to negotiate the prices of prescription drugs with drug companies (H.R. 3) have taken nearly $1.7 million in career contributions from industry groups and the five largest pharmaceutical companies opposed to Medicare drug negotiations.