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The current optics of the pharmaceutical industry are rather unpleasant. Drug prices continue to skyrocket, pharmaceutical executives have reported salaries in the tens of millions, and communities across the country are devastated by the opioid epidemic, which was sparked by drug makers who criminally misled regulators, doctors, and patients about the drugs’ safety and addictiveness.
To scrub down their filthy reputations, drug makers could try lowering prices, a public mea culpa, or pledging to make pricing and marketing more responsible and transparent. But they seem to have taken a different strategy.
This week, PhRMA, a powerful pharmaceutical lobbying group that represents more than 50 companies, is considering requiring their members to spend $200 million or more per year on research and drug development (based on a three-year average), Bloomberg reports. The move is intended to play up their pursuit of cures—an ostensibly noble effort—while distancing themselves from offending companies that simply buy old drugs and ratchet up the prices—moves made infamous by Martin Shkreli and Mylan.
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