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Profits over patients: US pharma spending billions on investor payouts

In 2017 Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), creating billions of dollars in tax rate cuts for US pharma companies.

A report from Oxfam found that together, Johnson &Johnson, Merck, Pfizer, and Abbott received a $1.7 billion windfall from tax rate cuts in 2018, and in total are now paying almost $7 billion per year less in taxes as a result of the TCJA being embedded in the US corporate tax overhaul.

With all this extra cash in hand, surely this was an excellent opportunity for big US pharma to invest in R&D and lower drug prices?

US pharma lobby launches legal action against the Trump administration over drug pricing proposals

US industry organisations including the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) have launched legal action against the Trump administration over its plans to lower drug prices in the US.

The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), the Global Colon Cancer Association (GCCA) and National Infusion Center Association, among others, joined PhRMA in denouncing the Trump administration’s Most Favored Nation (MFN) rule, which would the price tags for certain drugs in the US would be tied to the lowest price paid by developed nations elsewhere in the world.

How the US election could affect the pharmaceutical industry

Published on 04/11/20 at 01:18pm

The US is one of the most lucrative markets for the pharmaceutical industry. This is a country where a lack of strict price regulation can see companies make record profits, while also getting many of their research and development projects subsidised by the government. It is where Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly began their businesses, and all notable pharmaceutical companies have a major US presence.

The November 2020 issue of Pharmafocus is available to read free online now!

The latest monthly edition of Pharmafocus is available to read for free online now!

US could have avoided over 130,000 COVID-19 deaths, according to a new study

Photo by AgnosticPreachersKid

New studies suggest that the US could have avoided over 130,000 deaths if it responded earlier and in a coordinated manner to the coronavirus pandemic. 

34 reported coronavirus infections in White House-linked staff

Photo by AgnosticPreachersKid

The coronavirus outbreak that has infected notable figures of the Trump administration has spread to 34 White House Staffers and other contacts overall, according to an internal government memo. 

The memo was distributed among Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) senior leadership on Wednesday and was obtained by ABC News

Regeneron applies for FDA Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 antibody treatment given to Trump

Photo by Michael Vadon (

Regeneron has announced that it has applied for an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA for its experimental antibody therapy that has been given to President Trump in his fight against coronavirus. 

White House halts release of new FDA standards for the Emergency Use Authorization of COVID-19 vaccine

The Trump White House is blocking new federal guidance for the emergency release of coronavirus vaccines that would essentially ensure none would be approved before the presidential election. 

This follows months of debate between the FDA and Trump administration. Trump has insisted that a vaccine would start being rolled out before the general election on 3rd November. It is believed that private sector objections are another reason the guidelines are being blocked. 

Donald and Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19

Photo by Marc Nozell from Merrimack, New Hampshire, USA

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19. 

Trump tweeted: “Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!”

US won’t join COVAX coronavirus vaccine initiative because it is linked to the WHO

Photo by The White House

The US has said it will not participate in an international effort to develop and distribute a coronavirus vaccine.

COVAX is co-led by the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi.

It was announced last week that the initiative aims to work with vaccine manufacturers to provide equitable access to vaccines with 172 countries in discussions to participate. It aims to purchase two billion doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine by the end of 2021.  

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