Sick with “Shareholder Value”: US Pharma’s Financialized Business Model During the Pandemic

by William Lazonick and Öner Tulum

On August 16, 2022, Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which, among other things, enables Medicare to negotiate the prices of certain high-cost prescription drugs, beginning in 2026.[1] Even though it is just one step forward in confronting US pharma’s financialized business model, this legislation was a long time coming.[2] A New York Times article published almost four decades ago reported accusations against pharmaceutical companies by then-US Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) of “outrageous price increases” and “greed on a massive scale.” In response to Waxman, drug-company executives asserted that “prices have climbed recently to cover accelerated investment in researching and developing new and better medications to protect Americans…”

[Click HERE to read the article featuring the INET report with the same title.]

[A pre-publication version of the report is also available HERE.]