Profit over Patients: How the Rules of Our Economy Encourage the Pharmaceutical Industry’s Extractive Behavior

February 20, 2019

The pharmaceutical industry isn’t working for most people in the US. Over 80 percent of Americans across the political spectrum believe that lowering drug costs should be a “top priority” for lawmakers and believe that prescription drug costs are “unreasonable.” This growing scrutiny presents an opportunity to question the ways that drug corporations run business, as well as reform the practices that are driving high profits and high drug prices at the expense of affordable medicines and public health.


In “Profit over Patients: How the Rules of Our Economy Encourage the Pharmaceutical Industry’s Extractive Behavior”—the first issue brief in a series—Roosevelt Fellow Katy Milani and Advocacy and Policy Associate Devin Duffy explore the rules that govern the pharma industry and how these rules, as they are currently written, create drug companies that value profits more than people. Life and health should not be for sale but equally available to all, and policymakers have the tools necessary to rewrite the rules of our economy and ensure that drug companies put public health before profits.

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