SIGN NOW: Demand equal access to an affordable COVID-19 vaccine.
For years, drug corporations have depended on public taxpayer money to develop new drug treatments. Between 2010 and 2016, every single one of the over 200 new drugs approved for use was supported by research funding from the National Institutes of Health.
Now the Trump Administration is setting up Big Pharma for a publicly-sponsored pandemic payday. Drug corporations have already been allocated billions of dollars of taxpayer money to help speed discovery and production of a COVID-19 vaccine and other COVID-19 drugs, while refusing to guarantee the eventual discovery will be made equally available to all, regardless of ability to pay.
Now, Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) have introduced two bipartisan bills that would prevent price-gouging, prohibit monopolies and ensure Americans know whether Trump is protecting the public interest in supporting COVID-19 drug development with taxpayer investments.
These new bipartisan bills, introduced in the U.S. House would:
Prohibit pharmaceutical monopolies and price gouging on new, taxpayer-funded COVID-19 drugs;
Ensure universal access to and mandate reasonable, affordable pricing of COVID-19 drugs;
Enable American taxpayers to track their investments in the creation of COVID-19 drugs, including taxpayer-funded research and development to find a treatment or vaccine, and tax breaks provided to drug corporations.
As with so many broken aspects of American life that put the health and wellbeing of the wealthy few ahead of those most in need, the pandemic has laid bare inequalities felt by communities of color. African Americans have died from COVID-19 at twice the rate of any other racial group. Two-thirds of Latinx households have lost jobs or wages due to the pandemic recession. The Navajo Nation has the highest per capita infection rate in the nation.
Tens of millions of people living in sub-Saharan Africa lost their lives from AIDS due to monopolies given to drug corporations, which prioritized Big Pharma profits over the lives of Black and brown people across the globe. Giving corporations monopoly control over a COVID-19 vaccine would risk repeating that mistake, and put the lives of billions of people in the global south at risk.
Communities of color—hardest hit by the virus and accompanying recession—cannot be shut out of the solution. We demand that a future COVID-19 vaccine be made available to everyone, regardless of ability to pay.
From: [Your Name]
Any and all vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 developed by drug corporations using taxpayer money must be accessible and affordable to everyone, regardless of ability to pay. To do this, we demand Congress immediately pass the Make Medication Affordable by Preventing Pandemic Price gouging Act (H.R. 7296) and the Taxpayer Research and Coronavirus Knowledge Act (H.R. 7288) to prohibit monopolies on new, taxpayer-funded COVID-19 drugs; require the federal government to mandate reasonable, affordable pricing of any new, taxpayer-funded COVID-19 drug; and ensure that taxpayers know how much and the terms under which they are paying to help drug corporations develop COVID-19 treatments.