FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Doctors for America
PO Box 53313
1921 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009-9997
June 15, 2023
Doctors for America Condemns Lawsuits by Merck and U.S. Chamber of Commerce That Put Profits Over Patients
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Doctors for America (DFA) is disappointed and outraged at the litigation filed by Merck and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce against Health and Human Services (HHS) in an attempt to stop upcoming Medicare drug price negotiations. Rather than working to protect the long term health of Medicare for America’s seniors, these organizations continue to put profits over patients in order to protect their bottom line. Patients deserve better from drugmakers and their allies, and we in the Access to Affordable Care impact area at DFA will continue to fight to ensure this crucial program gets implemented to the fullest extent of the law.
These lawsuits are just the latest example of unchecked greed in health care. Merck claims that negotiating with Medicare will be ‘tantamount to extortion’ yet they already negotiate prices with nearly every other developed country. Pharmaceutical manufacturers like Merck have for years been able to set their own prices in the United States, irrespective of their value to patient outcomes and typically with little or no competition for decades. Merck’s diabetes drug Januvia, already the fourth most expensive drug to Medicare Part D in 2020, saw years of price increases above the rate of inflation. Meanwhile, thanks to the high cost of drugs, millions of Americans skip doses of their medications, take less of them than prescribed, and delay picking up their prescriptions – causing untold harm to their health in the process. Without government interventions like the Medicare price negotiations, price gouging at the expense of America’s seniors will continue indefinitely.
Doctors for America calls on the courts to see these lawsuits for what they are: a callous attempt to circumvent the lawful application of the government’s purchasing power to protect America’s seniors. Until we all take a stand against greed in healthcare, companies like Merck will continue to line their shareholders pockets at the expense of patients around the country.
About Doctors for America:
Doctors for America mobilizes doctors and medical students to be leaders in putting patients over politics to improve the health of our patients, communities, and nation. We are 27,000 physicians and medical students in all 50 states, representing all areas of specialization. Our impact areas focus on access to affordable care, community health and prevention, and health justice and equity. DFA focuses solely on what is best for our patients, not on the business side of medicine, and does not accept any funding from pharmaceutical or medical device companies. This uniquely positions DFA as the organization that puts patients over politics and patients over profits. Find out more at doctorsforamerica.org and on Twitter @drsforamerica.