WASHINGTON D.C. – Today the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is reportedly launching a “seven-figure campaign” to obstruct one of the Biden administration’s major actions to lower prescription drug prices for Americans – a proposal allowing federal agencies to use high prices as a factor to exercise ‘march-in’ rights over a drug or other taxpayer-funded invention that is not accessible to the public. Government watchdog Accountable.US called out the U.S. Chamber’s campaign for protecting the price-gouging practices of its multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical company members at the expense of seniors’ health and financial security.

This is a pattern of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce standing up for huge corporate profits and standing against the Biden administration’s efforts to lower costs for families. The way they see it, lower prescription prices for seniors means less profit for big drug companies. Just like they think eliminating fees for consumers means less profit for big banks. They will stop at nothing to protect corporate executives’ price gouging ways. It’s wrong.”

Accountable.US Executive Director Tony Carrk

 The U.S. Chamber has been standing in the way of the Biden administration’s work to lower Rx drug costs since day one. In July 2023, U.S. Chamber filed a lawsuit on behalf of its pharmaceutical members seeking to block the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act’s Medicare drug price negotiation program. The public is not on the Chamber’s side. The Biden law,backed by 3 in 4 Americans, is already working to save seniors money by requiring drug makers to negotiate lower prices on 10 key drugs that cost 9 million Medicare beneficiaries a staggering $3.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs in 2022 alone, including treatments for cancer and heart disease.

The U.S. Chamber’s Real Motive: Maintaining Business as Usual for Its Profiteering, Junk Fee-Abusing Corporate Members.  It’s a pattern of behavior for the U.S. Chamber to advance corporate special interests on the backs of hard-working Americans. Last week, the U.S. Chamber filed a lawsuit on behalf of its big bank members seeking to block the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)’s new final rule capping most credit card late fees at $8, down from an average of $30. The U.S. Chamber is helping credit card-issuing companies preserve late fees that run as high as $41 despite being identified by regulators as “the most significant fee assessed to cardholders in both dollar amount and frequency” and a major contributor to the more than $1 trillion in outstanding credit card debt in 2022.

U.S. Chamber-Member Pharma Companies’ Motive: Record Profits: Last month, several U.S. Chamber-member drug companies showed their exorbitant 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 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.


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