Letter: Why should we work to protect big pharmaceutical companies?

Did you know that big pharma funds 50% of our FDA's drug division budget so they can get things their way?

Letter to the editor FSA

Yes, Arik Spencer, executive director of the Greater North Dakota Chamber, is absolutely right in his recent letter to the editor (Jan. 18: “Reject price controls on life-saving prescriptions”). We need to protect the poor, starving, big pharmaceutical companies from having price controls. As a matter of fact, when I was down in the cities last week I saw three CEOs from big pharma companies standing on a street corner with little tin cups holding signs that said “Could you spare a few billion? We haven't eaten in weeks.”

Did you know that big pharma funds 50% of our FDA's drug division budget so they can get things their way? Google it; it's a fact. If this isn't a conflict of interest I don't know what is.

Also did you know that 31% of the new drugs in the US are discovered in our universities and paid for with our tax dollars, then transferred to either biotech companies or big pharma? Then they turn around and stick it to us taxpayers again at the cash register. One third of the so-called new drugs that are introduced every year in recent times are just an old drug that has been altered slightly so they can put a new name on it, so there are no or very little R&D costs involved. The only new costs involved are advertising, where they make them sound like some new breakthrough when they really are not. Some of these might be a little better for you, sometimes they are worse for you.

So don't tell us to reject price controls when Johnson & Johnson made a 20% profit margin and cleared $96.4 billion and Pfizer made a 30% profit and cleared $102 billion in 2022. Not bad for a couple of companies that can barely afford to make ends meet.

We taxpayers would really like it if big pharma would just sell us the pharmaceuticals for the same price they sell them for in Canada, the UK and many other countries, which is 40% less than we pay here.


Arik and the co-author of the letter, Richard Glynn of BioND, wrote on how if we have price controls, big pharma will have lower production and diminished innovation. But they are selling their drugs for 40% less to half the world now, and you can bet they are making good money on them.

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