WASHINGTON, D.C. — Pharmaceutical corporations have been exploiting patients to rake in record profits, but a few companies and their CEOs stand out from the crowd in their demonstrations of greed. Patients for Affordable Drugs is turning to the American people to choose the worst of the worst. For one month, starting today, people will be able to vote for their “Most Hated Pharma CEO of the Year.”
“So many drug companies and their CEOs have gone above and beyond to price gouge patients for their own benefit,” said David Mitchell, President and Founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs. “While the competition was tough, the four contenders represent the worst of the worst. Now we need the public’s help to choose.”
After votes are cast, P4AD will deliver America’s Most Hated Pharma CEO the news and a trophy, so they get the message from patients loud and clear: we’re watching your bad behavior, and we won’t tolerate it.
Here are the contenders:
Rick Gonzalez, AbbVie: AbbVie makes the world’s best-selling drug, Humira. But this widely needed drug costs patients nearly $5,000 per dose –– while Rick Gonzalez made over $19 million last year just for himself. In the meantime, AbbVie is blocking generic competition by filing 100 new patents on this old drug and striking shady deals with competitors, meaning patients have to wait even longer for cheaper generics to come on the market.
Jeffrey Leiden, Vertex: Vertex makes cystic fibrosis drugs for patients like Lora Moser. Lora’s family raised more than $750,000 for research that helped invent the drug, and yet Lora and other patients like her can’t afford the $300,000+ price tag on Jeffrey Leiden’s drugs. And while he prices cystic fibrosis patients out of life-saving drugs, Jeffrey Leiden personally took home more than $78 million dollars, making him the third-highest paid CEO in the health care industry.
Dave Ricks, Eli Lilly: The scientists who created insulin more than 100 years ago gave away their right to profit from it because they believed everyone deserves access to this life-saving medication. Dave Ricks and Eli Lilly seem to disagree. The list price on Humalog, an Eli Lilly insulin, skyrocketed 1,157 percent in the past two decades, putting the price at more than $300 per vial –– and patients are dying trying to ration their supply.
Brent Saunders, Allergan: Bloomberg recently called Allergan the “poster boy for patent abuse.” Allergan earned the label because of its outrageous attempts to protect the billion-dollar dry eye blockbuster Restasis from generic competition by transferring patent rights to a sovereign entity, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. Meanwhile, patients are rationing their Restasis eye drops at the risk of going blind because they can’t afford the $600+ medication.