The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

TJ Helmstetter, (ATF), Josh Miller-Lewis, (SANDERS), Jaimie Woo, (DOGGETT)

Bernie Sanders, Lloyd Doggett Demand Drug Companies To Stop Dodging Taxes Following Release of New Report


A new report released today by Americans for Tax Fairness exposes just how much the pharmaceutical industry stands to gain if the Trump-GOP tax plan becomes law.

The report examines the profits, taxes, and drug prices of the 10 biggest U.S. pharmaceutical companies, the "Pharma Big 10": Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Merck & Co., Gilead Sciences, AbbVie, Amgen, Eli Lilly & Co., Bristol-Myers Squibb, Biogen and Celgene.

The report, The Pharma Big 10: Price Gougers, Tax Dodgers, finds that these 10 companies:

  • jacked up the prices for 31 of their most widely-prescribed drugs by at least 40% and as much as 71% over a period from 2011 to 2015;
  • saw their profits jump by 39% over the same four-year period;
  • have $506 billion in un-taxed profits stashed offshore;
  • owe an estimated $133 billion in taxes on those profits, if they are repatriated to the U.S. at the current tax rate; and
  • will get an an estimated tax cut of $80 billion on their offshore profits if the Trump-GOP tax bill becomes law.

The $80 billion in tax breaks the Trump-GOP tax plan will give these 10 drug companies would pay for a year-and-a-half of Medicaid drug spending or five years of healthcare for 9 million kids under the Children's Health Insurance Program.

"This important new report highlights what we already know--pharmaceutical companies are gouging the public with outrageous prescription drug prices, while dodging tens of billions of dollars in U.S. taxes on their offshore profits," said Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). "But instead of doing anything to rein in these tax dodgers, the Republican tax plan rewards drug companies with massive tax cuts on their current and future offshore profits. These corporations can no longer be allowed to rip off Americans, who already pay the highest prescription drug prices in the world. Instead of giving big pharmaceutical companies that are sheltering their profits overseas a massive tax break, we must demand that they pay their fair share of taxes so that we can rebuild the disappearing middle class."

"As American taxpayers pay top dollar for drugs, drug manufacturers pay low dollar on their taxes by exploiting loopholes to avoid their fair share of the costs of our national security, education system, and medical research," said Representative Lloyd Doggett (D, TX-35), who is the ranking member on the Tax Policy Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee. "The pending Republican tax bill will only worsen this offshore tax dodging. Their tax scam rewards the same companies that deny access to life-saving medications for too many Americans and force others to ration costly doses."

"The massive tax cuts being forced through by Donald Trump and the GOP are a huge giveaway to the drug industry, whose price gouging and tax dodging is hurting seniors, families and taxpayers," said Frank Clemente, Executive Director of Americans for Tax Fairness. "This report uncovers the extent to which drug companies have jacked up prices to reap enormous profits and used special tax breaks and loopholes to dodge paying their fair share. It adds to the increasing evidence that the Trump-GOP tax plan is a scam that rewards the well-connected at the expense of working families."

The full report can be found HERE.

Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) is a diverse campaign of more than 420 national, state and local endorsing organizations united in support of a fair tax system that works for all Americans. It has come together based on the belief that the country needs comprehensive, progressive tax reform that results in greater revenue to meet our growing needs. This requires big corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes, not to live by their own set of rules.

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