Lifesaving medication should not cost a life’s savings

Our nation pays outrageous prices for prescription medication, by far the highest in the world.

Consequently, nearly one in five Americans who need them cannot afford to fill their prescriptions. Meanwhile, the five largest prescription drug companies made a combined $50 billion in profits last year.

It should be unacceptable in a civilized society that an entire industry reaps that kind of advantage with “Your money or your life” as its basic operating procedure.  A lifesaving medication should not cost a person or a family their entire life’s savings.

As US Senator Bernie Sanders said, “The pharmaceutical industry has become a major health hazard to the American people.”

Products priced more than a patient can afford is one example of how inequality has become pervasive in the richest nation in the world but it also strikes at something more fundamental.

new report, entitled Gilead Sciences: Price Gouger, Tax Dodger, from Americans for Tax Fairness explains how one pharmaceutical company games the system to develop drugs at taxpayer expense, charge high prices, shift profits offshore and avoid billions in U.S. taxes.

In the last two years the corporation has raked in billions in profits from exorbitantly priced hepatitis C medications that were developed with American taxpayer dollars, and then shifted those profits to offshore tax havens so it can dodge its responsibility to pay U.S. taxes.

Read a Huffington Post story here.

For the full report, click here.

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