“Merck’s decision to sue the federal government today demonstrates that there is no bottom to Big Pharma’s greed and the corporate culture of putting profits before people. With its lawsuit, Merck has made it clear that one of the nation’s most profitable drugmakers wants seniors to continue paying sky-high prices for their vital medications. (Merck made $14.5 billion in profits last year.)
High prescription drug prices have forced millions of Medicare beneficiaries to ration doses or skip medications altogether. That’s what the Inflation Reduction Act was intended to address, by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices with Big Pharma. Half of Medicare beneficiaries have incomes under $29,000 a year, and 28% of the average senior’s Social Security benefit is consumed by out-of-pocket medical costs.
Merck can afford to negotiate a fair price for its product with Medicare and still do research and development, much of which is subsidized by U.S. taxpayers. Merck’s constitutional arguments are spurious at best; the Veterans Administration has been successfully negotiating prices with Big Pharma for years. Drugmakers can still remain profitable while abiding by the Inflation Reduction Act, which was a long-awaited and landmark piece of legislation to protect seniors from industry price gouging.
While Merck’s lawsuit is considered by the courts, we urge the Biden Administration to proceed with implementing the historic drug pricing reforms in the Inflation Reduction Act.” – Max Richtman, President & CEO, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
The National Committee, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization acts in the interests of its membership through advocacy, education, services, grassroots efforts and the leadership of the Board of Directors and professional staff. The work of the National Committee is directed toward developing better-informed citizens and voters.
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