The vaccine debate over the last six months or so has people who never before had even given a second thought to the actions of pharmaceutical companies digging a little deeper into the actions of Big Pharma.
Some have been saying for decades that pharmaceutical companies have been working against the public good, concealing effective treatments and price gouging everyday people.
And now Big Pharma is having to throw up a lot of smoke and mirrors to divert Congress’ attention from what’s really happening behind closed doors.
Earlier this month, the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform released a detailed report that they had been working on for over three years that laid out Big Pharma’s appalling pricing and anti-competitive practices.
During the committee’s investigation, they reviewed more than 1.5 million pages of internal documents from pharmaceutical companies.
The findings by the committee have some saying that Congress needs to advance market-based solutions to hold Big Pharma accountable and lower prescription drug prices.
The Hill recently reported on more of the details from the committee’s findings:
“Upon reviewing price histories of 12 of the best-selling drugs in Medicare, the committee found prices were raised more than 250 times by Big Pharma companies using strategies that game the system and suppress competition to maintain product monopolies. These tactics include “product hopping” and “shadow pricing” — techniques deliberately used to shield profits from generic competition — and employing price hikes in concert with other drug manufacturers. The committee found that these 12 drugs “are now priced at a median of almost 500 percent higher than when they were brought to market.”
It was also discovered that these pharmaceutical companies obtained more than 600 patents for these 12 medications, which effectively blocked completion from more affordable alternatives.
A significant portion of brand name drug companies devote research budgets to finding ways to extend patent protection so they can undermine competition instead of investing in true innovations.
Big Pharma often claims they do some of these things because of a need to fund research and development but the report debunked that age old myth.
The 14 top drug companies spent almost $577 billion on stock buybacks and dividends over the last five years, which is $56 billion more than they spent on research and development.
Now Big Pharma is running a new ad campaign that tries to shift the attention of policymakers onto others in the drug supply chain.
The ad deliberately misleads people and draws attention away from brand name drug pricing and pushes lawmakers to reverse course.
Of course, politicians on both sides of the aisle try to say that there needs to be more regulation, which isn’t the answer to this.
In fact, removing government intervention would actually help to eliminate some of the issues with Big Pharma.
Unfortunately, far too many Americans have lost sight of what a true free-market system really looks like.
Stay tuned to Right News Wire for any updates to this ongoing story.