United States Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) decried the massive profits of the pharmaceutical industry during a House hearing on Tuesday, arguing that the public should be given the option to buy into government programs like Medicare.
“I believe that the profit-seeking motive in the pharmaceutical industry is out of control, and I think that it is what is hurting people,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
The figures are indeed staggering. Fierce Pharma reported in April that the top twenty drug manufacturers raked in hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue in 2022, in large part because of research, development, and sales stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
“For the first time in biopharma history, a company has topped the $100 billion mark in annual revenue. Pfizer passed that milestone, propelled by its massive haul from its COVID-19 products. Its BioNTech-partnered vaccine, Comirnaty, raked in $37.8 billion, and oral antiviral Paxlovid made $18.9 billion,” Fierce Pharma explained. “With its windfall, Pfizer displaced Johnson & Johnson as the industry’s No. 1 revenue generator. J&J had occupied that position for a decade and had been closing in on the $100 billion mark. Sales for 2021 and 2022 came in at $93.8 billion and $94.9 billion, respectively. But with J&J on the verge of separating from its consumer health business, its overall revenue will take a tumble. The unit, dubbed Kenvue, accounted for $15 billion of J&J’s sales last year.”…