Washington D.C. – The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) is now appealing its recent loss in a Texas federal court where a judge found the plaintiffs seeking to block Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices with manufacturers under the Inflation Reduction Act “did not have subject matter jurisdiction to bring the lawsuit.”  PhRMA, the most powerful and prominent organization for drug manufacturers, is taking its case for charging limitless prices on 10 life-saving prescription medicines to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals where 19 out of the 26 judges were appointed by Republicans, including 6 by Donald Trump. Accountable.US Executive Director Tony Carrk issued the following statement in response: 

Big PhRMA is begging any court that will have them to block Medicare from negotiating lower prices with drug makers after decades of price-gouging seniors on life-saving medicines and bragging of record profits. It’s a case study in corporate greed that continues to threaten seniors’ health and financial security. The big drug industry will stop at nothing – from spending millions lobbying to clogging up courtrooms – to go back to business-as-usual charging patients in need whatever they please.”

Last month, several PhRMA-member drug companies showed their obscene prices –which leave 1-in-4 Americans unable to afford the medicines prescribed by their doctors – were based on greed, not need: 

  • Bristol Myers Squibb: BMS reported $8 billion in 2023 net earnings — up from $6.4 billion in 2022. The staggering total comes as the company faces sharp criticism for charging U.S. patients a whopping $7,100 for its blood thinner, Eliquis, when the same medication can be purchased in Canada for $900 or just $650 in France. In 2023, Eliquis brought in nearly $8.6 billion for BMS in just the United States, a 10% increase from the prior year. It is likely why it is one of the first 10 prescription drugs impacted by the Biden administration’s Medicare negotiation program.

  • Merck: The company announced their earnings beat expectations, with quarterly revenue topping estimates. Merck executives boasted to investors while the company has faced sharp criticism for charging U.S. type-2 diabetes patients a whopping $6,900 for its diabetes treatment drug, Januvia, that patients can purchase in Canada for $900 or just $200 in France. Before the Biden administration announced Januvia was one of the first 10 drugs impacted by Medicare’s new negotiation power, Merck filed its own lawsuit against seeking to block the law’s measures working to lower costs for Medicare beneficiaries.

  • Johnson & Johnson: The company announced $35.1 billion in FY2023 earnings, exceeding Wall Street predictions and nearly doubling their year-over-year earnings. Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine, formerly known as Janssen Pharmaceuticals, is suing the administration after three of the drugs they produce were selected for the initial round of Medicare drug negotiations.

  • Eli Lilly: The company reported $2.19 billion in Q4 2023 net income—a staggering amount made possible by aggressive price hikes against American seniors and patients. Eli Lilly raised overall prices in the United States by 27% in Q4 2023.

In July 2023, an Accountable.US analysis  found that the five largest U.S. pharmaceutical companies by market cap saw profits rise steadily from FY 2021 to FY 2022, as price increases and acquisitions of competing firms led to generous shareholder handouts at the expense of Americans struggling to afford life-saving medicine. While manufacturers reportedly upped prices on at least 350 drugs in the U.S. in January, Accountable.US’ review found these top drug companies reported combined earnings of $81.9 billion — an over $8.8 billion increase from 2021 — while combined stock buybacks and dividends increased by $4.4 billion and $2.5 billion, respectively.



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