Big Pharma Companies Happy To Use The US Government To Push Industry Agenda, Not So Happy To Pay US Taxes

from the hardly-fair dept

Big pharma companies exert considerable influence on US trade policy. Research by the Sunlight Foundation shows that the pharmaceutical industry has been lobbying for the measures it wants in TPP longer and more consistently than any other sector. For example, one of the most important — and contentious — chapters of TPP is about keeping drug prices artificially high. Big pharma has also been vocal in calling for the European Union to be put on the Special 301 Report’s “Priority Watch List” for daring to require that basic safety data about drugs be made available. Given this wide-ranging support from the US government, you’d think that pharmaceutical companies would be only happy to pay back in the form of taxes, say, but as Quartz points out, that’s far from the case:

Pfizer’s bid to purchase AstraZeneca failed, but the company’s attempt to move to London in an effort to avoid US corporate taxes has inspired a new round of commentary on America’s corporate tax system. Perhaps it should also spur a look at America’s commitment to raising drug prices around the world.

The US taxes the global income of its companies, which has lead many of the largest to keep profits overseas indefinitely to avoid paying Uncle Sam, and even shift US profits overseas to avoid public levies. So-called “inversions” — reverse mergers where a US company buys a foreign one and assumes their jurisdiction, as Pfizer proposed — have also become more popular. Four US pharmaceutical companies have used the tactic to go overseas in the last year, and four more are considering similar moves.

It’s probably too much to hope that the US government will abandon its unquestioning support for the pharmaceutical industry, but if more drug companies do relocate overseas to avoid paying US taxes, the public outcry against it doing so may grow.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or, and +glynmoody on Google+

Filed Under: , , , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Big Pharma Companies Happy To Use The US Government To Push Industry Agenda, Not So Happy To Pay US Taxes”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
That One Guysays:

Pharmaceutical companies do everything they can to avoid paying taxes, all the while dictating and directing trade and foreign policy to their benefit…

The ‘entertainment industry’ contributes very little to the economy compared to numerous other industries, yet likewise have enormous, disproportionate political clout and power…

Why, it’s almost as though the government’s been bought out by whoever throws the most money at them, but I’m sure that’s not it… /s


Read between the lines

So Hollywood has abandoned the US and Big Pharma is doing the same thing…

They’re going where the markets are. The markets aren’t in the US anymore and the government is allowing that.

So avoid American taxes, avoid American commerce, and make money for everywhere else.

This is a great system of democracy isn’t it…? /s


Big pharma has also been vocal in calling for the European Union to be put on the Special 301 Report’s “Priority Watch List” for daring to require that basic safety data about drugs be made available.

Anybody would think they want an opportunity to sell drugs that show no immediate problems in them hope that they can recoup most of the development costs before doctors discover what they already know to be a problem with the drug.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Older Stuff
13:40 It's Great That Winnie The Pooh Is In The Public Domain; But He Should Have Been Free In 1982 (Or Earlier) (35)
12:06 Norton 360 Now Comes With Crypto Mining Capabilities And Sketchy Removal Process (28)
10:45 Chinese Government Dragnet Now Folding In American Social Media Platforms To Silence Dissent (14)
10:40 Daily Deal: The 2022 Ultimate Cybersecurity Analyst Preparation Bundle (0)
09:29 A Fight Between Facebook And The British Medical Journal Highlights The Difficulty Of Moderating 'Medical Misinformation' (9)
06:29 Court Ruling Paves The Way For Better, More Reliable Wi-Fi (4)
20:12 Eighth Circuit (Again) Says There's Nothing Wrong With Detaining Innocent Minors At Gunpoint (15)
15:48 China's Regulatory War On Its Gaming Industry Racks Up 14k Casualties (10)
13:31 Chinese Government Fines Local Car Dealerships For Surveilling While Not Being The Government (5)
12:08 Eric Clapton Pretends To Regret The Decision To Sue Random German Woman Who Listed A Bootleg Of One Of His CDs On Ebay (29)
10:44 ICE Is So Toxic That The DHS's Investigative Wing Is Asking To Be Completely Separated From It (29)
10:39 Daily Deal: The 2022 Complete Raspberry Pi And Arduino Developer Bundle (0)
09:31 Google Blocked An Article About Police From The Intercept... Because The Title Included A Phrase That Was Also A Movie Title (24)
06:22 Wireless Carriers Balk At FAA Demand For 5G Deployment Delays Amid Shaky Safety Concerns (16)
19:53 Tenth Circuit Denies Qualified Immunity To Social Worker Who Fabricated A Mother's Confession Of Child Abuse (35)
15:39 Sci-Hub's Creator Thinks Academic Publishers, Not Her Site, Are The Real Threat To Science, And Says: 'Any Law Against Knowledge Is Fundamentally Unjust' (34)
13:32 Federal Court Tells Proud Boys Defendants That Raiding The Capitol Building Isn't Covered By The First Amendment (25)
12:14 US Courts Realizing They Have A Judge Alan Albright Sized Problem In Waco (17)
10:44 Boston Police Department Used Forfeiture Funds To Hide Purchase Of Surveillance Tech From City Reps (16)
10:39 Daily Deal: The Ultimate Microsoft Excel Training Bundle (0)
09:20 NY Senator Proposes Ridiculously Unconstitutional Social Media Law That Is The Mirror Opposite Of Equally Unconstitutional Laws In Florida & Texas (25)
06:12 Telecom Monopolies Are Exploiting Crappy U.S. Broadband Maps To Block Community Broadband Grant Requests (7)
12:00 Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of 2021 At Techdirt (17)
10:00 Gaming Like It's 1926: Join The Fourth Annual Public Domain Game Jam (6)
09:00 New Year's Message: The Arc Of The Moral Universe Is A Twisty Path (33)
19:39 DHS, ICE Begin Body Camera Pilot Program With Surprisingly Good Policies In Place (7)
15:29 Remembering Techdirt Contributors Sherwin And Elliot (1)
13:32 DC Metro PD's Powerful Review Panel Keeps Giving Bad Cops Their Jobs Back (6)
12:11 Missouri Governor Still Expects Journalists To Be Prosecuted For Showing How His Admin Leaked Teacher Social Security Numbers (39)
10:48 Oversight Board Overturning Instagram Takedown Of Ayahuasca Post Demonstrates The Impossibility Of Content Moderation (10)
More arrow
This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it