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Op-Ed in the Ocala Star-Banner: Pfizer’s Bad Medicine for Floridians

ATF helped place the following op-ed in the Ocala Star-Banner.  Progress Florida Executive Director Mark Ferrulo wrote: “The big drug company Pfizer has been squeezing Florida families by hiking its prices while dodging its taxes, putting a strain on both personal and public budgets. Now it’s pursuing its biggest tax avoidance scheme ever. Luckily, President Obama can stop it.

Nothing has stopped Pfizer’s recent price gouging. The pharmaceutical giant has routinely raised its prescription drug prices by many multiples of the rate of inflation, according to a new study by Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF).”


The big drug company Pfizer has been squeezing Florida families by hiking its prices while dodging its taxes, putting a strain on both personal and public budgets. Now it’s pursuing its biggest tax avoidance scheme ever. Luckily, President Obama can stop it.

Nothing has stopped Pfizer’s recent price gouging. The pharmaceutical giant has routinely raised its prescription drug prices by many multiples of the rate of inflation, according to a new study by Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF).

The nearly 3 million elderly and disabled Floridians in Medicare’s Part D prescription drug program saw the cost of the widely prescribed nerve-pain medication Lyrica go up nine times the inflation rate between 2010 and 2014. The price of cholesterol treatment Lipitor went up by 20 times the inflation rate, and that of anti-inflammatory Celebrex, 27 times — all in just the past few years, according to government figures cited in the report.

Of course, nearly all drug companies have been raising their prices recently. But Pfizer’s average cost hike for seven of its leading medications was four times worse than even the prescription-drug inflation rate between 2013 and 2015.

Other countries have it better. In Ireland, for instance, a single 20 mg dose of Lipitor costs the equivalent of about 25 cents. Here, it costs nearly $9. Ironically, Pfizer’s ultimate tax dodge involves merging with an Irish company in order to share its national identity and pay the lower tax rates of Ireland, a well-known tax haven.