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Holding pharmaceutical companies accountable

On April 15, 1994, the CEOs of the seven largest tobacco companies testified, falsely and under oath, that cigarettes were not addictive. Their testimony collapsed under the weight of that lie, and kicked off the long-overdue process of taking accountability for reaping staggering fortunes from deceit and death.

This week, seven other executives came to the Capitol, trying just as hard to justify the unjustifiable.

The executives of seven massive pharmaceutical companies appeared before the Senate Finance Committee to explain away their egregious price inflation and profiteering.

They didn't succeed.

When I asked how it's possible that patients in other developed nations are paying so much less for identical medications, the answer I got boiled down to because we can charge U.S. patients a lot more.

Call it what you want: swindle, gouge, racket, rip-off, or scam – it needs to stop.

Because while these corporations rake in billions of dollars, and spoil their executives with eight-figure salaries, working people are being forced to ration their medication or are simply going without, because they can't keep up with predatory increases in drug prices.

This was the first step. And working together, we will bring drug prices down and hold Big Pharma accountable.


Posted on February 28, 2019.

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Ron Wyden & Jeff Merkley at a health care rallyRon Wyden is a champion for our progressive values -- standing up for consumers and the middle class, fighting for digital privacy and an open internet, protecting our planet and Oregon's special places, and always insisting on human rights and equality for all.

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