The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

People's Action Rally at Phrma HQ in D.C. Demands End to Corporate Greed

Attendees protest phrma’s ruthless lobbying to tank medicare drug-price provision in budget resolution with message: "stop pharma greed!"


People's Action today hosted a rally at PhRMA's D.C. headquarters to protest the drug companies' relentless pursuit of profits at the expense of everyday people. Member leaders from across the country attended along with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) who gave remarks. PhRMA has spent millions trying to tank a provision in the budget resolution to allow Medicare to negotiate with drug companies for lower prescription prices for everyday people-a proposal with overwhelming public support.

"Making drugs affordable should not be controversial, but Big Pharma spent billions trying to convince us and our elected officials that we don't deserve to get the health care we need," People's Action Health Care for All Lead Organizer Aija Nemer-Aanerud said. "Today we're fighting back. People all over the country traveled to D.C. to demand an end to corporate greed."

"For far too long, it has not been Congress that has been regulating the pharmaceutical industry," Sen. Bernie Sanders said. "It has been the pharmaceutical industry that has been regulating Congress. Right now, they are spending many millions of dollars on campaign contributions, on TV ads and on lobbying in order to defeat the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that will finally lower the price of prescription drugs by giving Medicare the ability to negotiate with the pharmaceutical industry. Well, today, we tell Big Pharma clearly: Your days of calling the shots in Washington, DC are over."

"Big Pharma's obsession with profit hurts real people," Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Health Care Organizer Jaime Izaguirre said. "I lost my brother because his insulin was too expensive. I'm here today to fight for him and the millions more who can't pay for life-saving drugs."

People's Action member leaders who cannot afford skyrocketing drug prices testified at the rally. Protesters held up a "STOP PHARMA GREED" banner and "MEDS FOR ALL" signs. An attendee propped up a menacing puppet master to demonstrate PhRMA's control over drug prices. Attendees also set up a giant pill bottle with shackles chained around it to illustrate drug companies' greed and throttling of drugs needed by everyday people.

Attendees delivered a letter to PhRMA, signed by a growing coalition of national and local progressive organizations, demanding accountability for their attempt to derail reforms that would make prescription drugs more affordable for millions of Americans.

Photo and video from the action may be found here, which is being updated.

People's Action builds the power of poor and working people, in rural, suburban, and urban areas to win change through issue campaigns and elections.