Big Pharma, labor unions partner to fight bills to lower drug prices

Large drugmakers and labor unions have formed an unlikely alliance to combat legislation that would lower drug prices, according to The New York Times. 

The Pharmaceutical Industry Labor Management Association, formed 15 years ago, includes large construction industry unions whose members help build pharmaceutical plants and research labs as well as drugmakers including Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer. The mix of drug companies and labor unions is uncommon, as labor unions are typically interested in lowering drug costs, since out-of-pocket costs can create a financial strain for union members.

But PILMA says it wants to create jobs for union workers. Facebook ads and mailers financed by the group have warned that House Speaker Nancy Pelsoi's bill would jeopardize thousands of "good-paying jobs" and would "risk access to critical medicines," according to the Times. 

The association has bought ads in local newspapers and hired former labor officials and well-known union lobbyists to deliver its message, including that Ms. Pelosi's bill to lower drug prices would stifle innovation and damage the pharmaceutical industry. 

The association's revenue comes from the pharmaceutical industry, and the group had about $2.3 million in revenue in 2018 according to tax filings cited by the Times

The group also opposes the drug-pricing proposal sponsored by Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., considered to be more moderate than Ms. Pelosi's, as well as President Donald Trump's proposal to allow importation of prescription drugs from Canada. 

Read the full article here

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