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Big Pharma

Global Actions Condemn Big Pharma’s Vaccine Profiteering

As major pharmaceutical executives and investors convened virtually on Thursday for their annual shareholder meetings, campaigners took to the streets in the U.S., the U.K., India, South Africa, and elsewhere to condemn major drug companies for hoarding technology and prioritizing profits over equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines. Outside Pfizer's U.K. headquarters, activists dropped mock sacks of money and positioned wheelbarrows full of fake cash near the building's entrance to denounce the New York-based company's opposition to tech transfer initiatives and other efforts to expand coronavirus vaccine production in developing nations, where billions have been denied access to the shots. Pfizer has also faced backlash for obstructing African countries' attempts to study Paxlovid, the company's oral anti-viral treatment for Covid-19.

Democrats’ Toothless Drug Pricing Alternative Is A Coup For Big Pharma

Under the Build Back Better Act, Congress can expand and strengthen Medicare and Medicaid, improving the lives of millions of seniors while also throwing a lifeline to folks living in states where GOP politicians are strangling public benefits. But to win these popular reforms, we have to defeat the efforts of Big Pharma, their greedy lobbyists and the politicians who take their money. It wasn’t enough for Democratic Representatives Kurt Schrader of Oregon, Scott Peters of California, Kathleen Rice of New York and Stephanie Murphy of Florida to vote against a robust bill that would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3).

Progressives Push Biden To End ‘Vaccine Apartheid’

Last Friday, three days before a crucial meeting of the World Trade Organization, progressives in the trade, faith, labor, consumer, and human rights communities sent an urgent request to the Biden administration. These nonprofits and unions are urging the administration to act quickly to assert its leadership on a pressing trade issue—whether trade rules will be allowed to hamper global efforts to combat the pandemic. In a letter and a press event, a coalition of 400 organizations asked President Joe Biden to make good on his promise to “absolutely positively” ensure access to vaccines in the developing world. They asked him to support a temporary waiver on requirements that give drug companies lengthy monopoly protections, as well as the right to decide where the vaccines will be made and who will receive them.

OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma To Plead To Three Criminal Charges

Washington - Drugmaker Purdue Pharma, the company behind the powerful prescription painkiller OxyContin that experts say helped touch off an opioid epidemic, will plead guilty to federal criminal charges as part of a settlement of more than $8 billion, the Justice Department announced Wednesday. The deal does not release any of the company’s executives or owners — members of the wealthy Sackler family — from criminal liability, and a criminal investigation is ongoing. Family members said they acted “ethically and lawfully,” but some state attorneys general said the agreement fails to hold the Sacklers accountable.

Reclaim Public Medicine For Public Health

Far too many people have suffered and died because our medicines and medical products system was not prepared to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with prompt and universal access to reliable tests, treatments, and vaccines. Governments, non-profits, and industry in the U.S. and around the world are working furiously to catch up. But their efforts have been hampered by fundamental flaws in our profit-driven pharmaceutical industry.   For Americans with diabetes, cancer, asthma, infectious diseases, mental illnesses, and a myriad of other health issues, those flaws have been causing suffering and even death for decades.

The Life-Saving COVID-19 Drugs You’ve Never Heard Of (And Why)

The American profit-based healthcare system impacts us in more ways than just our gargantuan bill at the excretion end of an emergency room visit. Right now, our lovable idiotic inhumane healthcare system is acting as a hurdle to the manufacture and procurement of the right drugs to treat Covid-19. One of the drugs currently trumpeted as our savior is remdesivir. Despite sounding like the name of a Hobbit in Middle Earth, some reports from the corporate media make it sound like the drug will thrust us face-first into a fresh world of happiness — water parks and restaurants and random no-holds-barred make-outs with strangers. A world where when someone sneezes, we don’t dive under our desk with an adult diaper strapped on our face as a makeshift mask.

The World Can Show How Pharma Monopolies Aren’t The Only Way To Fight COVID-19

The U.S. has bought up almost all of the stock of remdesivir from Gilead, making it nearly impossible for this COVID-19 drug to be available anywhere else in the world. After making America sick again, Trump is trying to compensate for his administration’s failure by buying Gilead’s production for the next three months for the U.S., leaving nothing for the rest of the world. This makes it all the more urgent for India and other countries that featured prominently in previous drug license fights against Big Pharma in the U.S. and around the world for more than a decade to break Gilead’s patent and issue compulsory licenses to manufacture the drug locally. The patent laws of most countries and the World Trade Organization’s 2001 Doha Declaration have clear provisions for compulsory licensing during a health emergency or an epidemic. COVID-19 obviously qualifies on both accounts.

Promising Coronavirus Treatment Granted Exclusive Status To Gilead Sciences By FDA

A potential treatment for the coronavirus was granted exclusive status to Gilead Sciences by the Food and Drug Administration on Monday. Remdesivir, a drug it is developing to treat the illness, is now “orphan” status, which allows the pharmaceutical company to profit exclusively off the drug. The designation of this drug, which is “generally reserved for drugs that treat rare illnesses affecting fewer than 200,000 Americans,” was eligible for “orphan” status in this case since the rapidly spreading virus had yet to “spread beyond that limit,” Common Dreams reported. On Monday, 40,000 Americans were stricken with the coronavirus when the FDA granted Gilead Sciences exclusive claim. By Tuesday afternoon, confirmed cases in the United States jumped to 51,000.

BigPharma’s Role: U.S. Sanctions Lead To Global Rise In Coronavirus

March 10 – As COVID-19 (coronavirus) spreads, it is a clear reminder that germs and viruses don’t respect national boundaries in an interconnected world. But the mainstream press has certainly not publicized how corporate capitalism and imperialism cross national boundaries to destroy people’s health.

Big Pharma Losing Money As Patients Switch From Opioids To Cannabis

The news that cannabis is effective in treating most types of pain is shaking business and political institutions. Politicians and investors must come to grips with Big Pharma losing money due to the rise of cannabis. The findings could have huge consequences for medical practice and public policy. For example, cannabis could reduce the number of accidental overdoses and providing avenues for critically ill patients to re-enter the workforce.

The Killing Fields Of American Health Care

American health care is being crushed under the iron heel of a cabal of ruthless and merciless robber barons. Indeed, this primitive and backward system continues to be a source of horrendous suffering, as the health insurance companies, hospital executives, and pharmaceutical companies repeatedly place their insatiable lust for profit over the lives of their fellow Americans. And the health care oligarchs should be proud of what they have achieved: For they have created a health care system that is unrivaled in the industrialized world for its degradation and barbarity. As economic inequality grows in America, so too does inequality of health care. Writing for The Harvard Gazette, David Cecere points out that tens of thousands of Americans die each year due to a lack of health insurance.

Families Organize Vigil Outside Eli Lilly, Demanding Lower Cost Of Insulin

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – Dozens of people were protesting outside Eli Lilly headquarters Saturday night. They're demanding lower insulin prices. The cost of insulin tripled from 2002 to 2013 and it has spiked every year since. At Saturday's vigil, several people shared stories about rationing insulin because of the price. Erin Weaver says it killed her son. "My mother's heart is furious. Especially on their website when they say that Lilly cares. If Lilly cared they wouldn't be killing their consumer base."

Medicine For All: The Case For A Public Option In The Pharmaceutical Industry

Too many Americans are suffering and dying prematurely because we have ceded control over a key part of our infrastructure for public health—the pharmaceutical industry—to unaccountable corporations, for whom the pursuit of profit trumps the needs of patients and communities. Instead of continuing to push the boulder of regulation up the hill in hopes that it one day finally proves effective, we can displace corporate power over our health and lives by moving towards a democratic, publicly-owned pharmaceutical sector, designed to respond to public health needs and deliver better health outcomes at lower costs.

Exclusive: OxyContin Maker Prepares ‘Free-Fall’ Bankruptcy As Settlement Talks Stall

(Reuters) - OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP is preparing to seek bankruptcy protection before the end of the month if it does not reach a settlement with U.S. communities over widespread opioid litigation, three people familiar with the matter said, after some states balked at the company’s $10 billion to $12 billion offer in August to end their lawsuits as part of a negotiated Chapter 11 case. On Friday, Purdue lawyers had documents prepared for a Chapter 11 filing at a moment’s notice, Reuters has learned. A federal judge, who expects plaintiffs to update him on settlement progress this week, wants 35 state attorneys general on board with a deal...

Big Pharma: Gouges, Casualties, And The Congressional Remedy!

The Congress can overturn the abuses of Big Pharma and its “pay or die,” subsidized business model for its drugs. Big Pharma’s trail of greed, power, and cruelty gets worse every year. Its products and practices take hundreds of thousands of lives in the U.S. from over-prescriptions, lethal combinations of prescriptions, ineffective or contaminated drugs, and dangerous side-effects. The biggest drug dealers in the U.S. operate legally. Their names are emblazoned in ads and promotions everywhere.
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