Chairwoman Maloney Calls on Drug Companies Not to Increase Prices on Coronavirus Treatments
Washington, D.C. (Apr. 2, 2020)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent a letter to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) urging its member drug companies to commit to setting affordable prices for any medications that are or may be used to prevent or treat coronavirus, including vaccines.
“In order to end the ongoing coronavirus crisis, every American—regardless of income or insurance status—must be able to afford any drug that is effective in preventing or treating the virus,” Chairwoman Maloney wrote. “It would be irresponsible and a danger to our entire nation to prevent any American from obtaining treatment as a result of the costs they may face.”
Recently, PhRMA launched a public relations campaign touting its members’ contributions to ongoing research into potential treatments for coronavirus.
“We hope you agree that no drug company should be allowed to profiteer, especially during this public health emergency, and we look to you to set this standard for all of your members,” Maloney continued.
Maloney asked that PhRMA’s members commit to:
- Not raising the price of any existing drug or vaccine that could be used to prevent or treat coronavirus;
- Setting the price of any new drug or vaccine no higher than necessary to recover the costs of direct research and manufacturing;
- Providing the public with transparency about the research costs associated with any drug or vaccine developed to prevent or treat coronavirus; and
- Providing any drug or vaccine used to prevent or treat coronavirus for free to any uninsured or low-income individuals who cannot afford them.
Gilead Sciences recently secured a seven-year monopoly from the Food and Drug Administration under the Orphan Drug Act for its experimental coronavirus drug, remdesivir. Gilead relied on extremely limited testing conducted in the United States to claim that its drug was a treatment for a “rare disease” under the Act—despite recent projections that as many as 96 million Americans ultimately could be infected with the virus. Only after immense public pressure did Gilead reverse course and ask FDA to rescind this orphan drug designation.
Chairwoman Maloney asked PhRMA to respond by April 9, 2020.
Click here to read today’s letter.