WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today praised U.S. Representative Elijah J. Cummings (D-MD), who as chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform, will haul the CEOs of the most rapacious drug companies in the industry before his committee on Tuesday (1/29) to hold them accountable for the agony their shameful conduct has inflicted on sick and dying Americans.
“These companies profit off the public investment of taxpayer support for research at the National Institutes of Health. They got their taxes dramatically reduced while many of them used the extra cash for stock buy-backs. They pay off so-called patient advocacy groups and medical providers with consulting contracts. They legally bribe politicians with their campaign contributions. They get research and development tax credits when the real research is done at the NIH. They spend more money on advertising and marketing than research. They pay to delay – giving cash to generic drug companies to keep them from competing against their branded drugs. They extend patents with the dodgy practice of changing a minor inert ingredient. They pay off legislators to prevent the importation of FDA-licensed and approved drugs from outside the U.S. They deliberately overcharge Medicaid, a program to help people get access to health care,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AHF.
“Reform minded, passionate and whip-smart Baltimore born and raised activist Congressman Cummings now holds the gavel of the powerful committee that can subpoena the greediest industry in history. His leadership is inspiring. We salute you, Mr. Chairman.”
For more than half of its 31-year existence, AIDS Healthcare Foundation has vigorously pursued innovative and aggressive drug pricing advocacy and actions against most major pharmaceutical companies and many of their CEOs starting back in 2002 with domestic and global actions against GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), maker of the first key AIDS drug. As such, AHF thanks Congressman Cummings and heartily welcomes the Oversight Committee’s Tuesday hearing on drug pricing.
More recently, AHF produced DRUG$, a documentary that explores the mystery of modern medicine’s skyrocketing price tag here in the U.S. and how it affects people struggling to stay alive. The 79-minute documentary, a Foxhound Productions film, presents deeply humanizing stories, in addition to interviews with academics, patients, advocates and political leaders, including Congressman Cummings—now Chair of the Oversight Committee, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Senator Amy Klobuchur (D-MN). To view the film for free on YouTube, and/or for those with Amazon Prime subscriptions, click here to watch ‘DRUG$. (www.drugsthefilm.com)
About AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over one million people in 43 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare.