On Tuesday, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and progressive healthcare activists from across the country rallied at the headquarters of Big Pharma top Lobby group to denounce the industry’s ongoing effort to derail Democrats’ prescription drug-pricing reforms, including a plan to let Medicare negotiate soaring medicine costs. Advocates from People’s Action and other organisations submitted a letter (pdf) demanding an end to the for-profit drug industry’s “meddling in our democracy and influence in Congress” at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) main office building in Washington, D.C.
The letter, addressed to PhRMA CEO Stephen Ubl and signed by nearly thirty progressive organizations, notes that “nearly one in four Americans taking prescription drugs have trouble affording their medications.” People frequently skip dosages or refuse to fill necessary medications because they are too costly. This causes pain and suffering, as well as worsening health problems and possibly death. This is widely regarded as unacceptable.
Some attendees dressed up as right-wing Democratic lawmakers and screamed, “Pharma greed has got to go!” and “Pharma lies, people die!” while others chanted, “Pharma greed has got to go!” and “Pharma lies, people die!” The demonstration took place amid a heated debate on Capitol Hill over Democrats’ prescription medication proposal, which is being attacked by pharma-backed politicians who are attempting to derail a key component of their own party’s programme.