: Drug companies plan to raise prices on vital medicines to fund R&D, but they already spend more on shareholder returns

by | Jan 13, 2023 | Stock Market

Drug companies planning to raise prices on cancer drugs and other life-saving treatments are justifying the move by claiming it’s necessary to fund research and development, but the claim rings hollow given that they spend more on shareholder rewards than on R&D, according to a new study. Accountable.US, a liberal-leaning consumer-advocacy group, found that in the period from 2019 to 2021, the five biggest U.S. drug companies spent $112 billion on R&D, but $125 billon on stock buybacks and dividends.

“Pharma executives like to hide behind R&D expenses yet they pale in comparison  to oversized handouts to a small group of wealthy investors,” said Liz Zelnick, director of Accountable.US’s program on economic security and corporate power. “The latest indicators show the economy is recovering, yet the Federal Reserve seems determined to stop it in its tracks with more aggressive interest rate hikes that threaten millions of jobs and invite a recession,” said Zelnick. “The Fed’s one-track-minded approach to inflation does not adequately address what’s really driving it – corporate greed.” Accountable.US did a dive into 2021 and 2022 earnings from Pfizer Inc.
Bristol Myers Squibb Co.
AstraZeneca PLC

and Sanofi SA

and found that all four are planning to raise drug prices, even after strong gains in earnings and heavy spending on shareholder returns. Market …

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