4 Pharma Companies Saved $7 Billion From GOP Tax Law

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Above Photo: Kena Betancur/Getty Images

Four pharmaceutical companies — Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Merck and Abbott Laboratories — collectively kept $7 billion in tax savings in 2018 due to Republicans’ 2017 corporate tax overhaul, according to a new Oxfam report.

The bottom line: Oxfam’s results mirror our reporting, which shows pharmaceutical companies in particular have benefited from bringing back billions of dollars in overseas profits that have sat untaxed. However, this report says the tax savings have not led to other social goods, like more research investment in new drugs or lower drug prices.

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By the numbers: The 4 companies highlighted by Oxfam mostly benefited from the repatriation of overseas cash.

  • $5.3 billion of the $7 billion of tax savings in 2018 came from bringing home untaxed offshore cash.

The big picture: “These are all policy choices,” Niko Lusiani, a senior adviser at Oxfam, who wrote the report, said of the tax law and its effects. “And we haven’t seen any big changes” in pharmaceutical industry behavior.

  • Oxfam focused on just 4 drug companies because they are large, representative and U.S.-based, Lusiani said.
  • Oxfam may take a deeper look at the pharmaceutical sector, but the group wanted to evaluate the short-term effect of the corporate tax overhaul and specifically whether drug companies were living up to their promises that the law would boost jobs, assets and productivity in the U.S.

Go deeper: Read Oxfam’s report.

  • William Johnson

    People can complain about unfair taxation policies until the cows come home, but really, does anyone want to pay taxes? We pay them all the time and so too does the rich every time anyone purchased anything. Taxes are built into the system we have today. I think the real question is that, we aren’t allowed to decide on what out tax dollars are spent upon. Say for example, most of our tax dollars went to benefit our healthcare system, our climate, our social security benefits, our infrastructure, our well being, instead of most of our monies going to further the interests of the military industrial state, extractivism/polluting corporations and the like, along with the system’s security apparatus, including bailouts of banks, manufactures, etc, people might have a different viewpoint about taxes. I’d wager that, if given the choice, people would support an end to military spending if they received an electric car or truck, along with the infrastructure to charge these vehicles. Sort of like the interstate highway system being built all over again, but for many of different reasons. Whole new ways of living could open up overnight if We The People had a say in how our tax money is spent and upon what. Just a thought.