Stop Drug Companies From Price Gouging Us


Target: Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and Director Francis S. Collins, National Institutes of Health

Goal: Stop price-gouging patients for drugs developed using public funds.

Drug prices are way up and are continuing to rise. While the drug industry profits, patients with painful or even life-threatening illnesses cannot afford medicine even when it is available. Each year, the U.S. invests billions of dollars of the public’s money in drug development. It is the government’s responsibility to get these drugs to the people and return their investment. And yet according to data published by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, almost one tenth of American adults don’t take their medications as prescribed because it is too expensive, and the government is doing nothing about it.

The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 gives the U.S. government the authority to ensure that when research and development of a drug has been federally funded, it can be sold at a reasonable price. If a manufacturer fails to do this, the government can authorize another manufacturer to license the drug and sell it for a more affordable amount. This should mean that when the funding for a drug’s research and development came from public money, the public can actually have realistic access to it. However, the federal government continually fails to enforce this, even for the most critical drugs.

Our tax dollars are going toward important research and development of medications that should be extremely helpful to the public. But many of the people who need these medications can’t afford them because of price-gouging. The drug industry is profiting by holding out on the public and keeping prices unrealistically high, and the government is doing nothing about it, even though they have the ability to. Sign our petition to demand that federal agencies use their power to ensure reasonable pricing of drugs.


Dear Secretary Burwell and Director Collins,

The staggeringly high cost of pharmaceuticals is a huge hardship on the public that must be remedied. The prices of drugs prevent nearly 1 in 10 American adults from taking their medications as prescribed according to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, even though those same Americans’ tax dollars are being put toward medical research meant to develop those drugs and provide them to the public. The drug industry and federal policy should not be allowed to price-gouge drugs developed using public funding .

The Bayh-Dole Act of 1980 stipulates that where federal money is used to support research and development of a drug, the government has the authority to make that drug available to the public on reasonable terms. However, the government has remained extremely lax in enforcing this, particularly when it comes to the “reasonable terms” condition, which based on Congressional testimony does refer to reasonable prices. The government’s narrow interpretation of the Bayh-Dole law is deeply damaging to hardworking Americans who cannot afford critical medications, and allows the drug industry to continue to reap all of the financial benefits of research that the public has helped fund.

I urge you to use your authority to reign in the astronomical price of medication and to uphold the Bayh-Dole Act. Please do not continue to allow the drug industry to take advantage of the public and withhold lifesaving drugs that the public dollar helped fund.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Ano Lobb

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  1. Until we replace the people in charge of these agencies this will continue to happen. Everyone knows Big Pharma spends more money on bribes than anyone else in Washinton. You’ve all sold us out and need to be standing in an unemployment line or jail!

  2. Heather Brophy says:


  3. When the CEO’s give themselves $30 million pay rises something is rather obscene and disgusting about this poxed up world we now live in where greed and selfishness is celebrated over saving lives?

  4. It truly hits home for me.My husband and have insurance and the cure for what he has,was due to ridiculously expensive amount of his denial of being cured.100 thousand dollars is way to much for the pharmaceutical company to asking.Judgement day will be hard for them.God don’t like greed..

    • Angela Rabon says:

      Amen!! These people may be rich on earth but it will not help them when God comes for us, unless they ask for forgiveness and change their ways.

      • Rosslyn Osborne says:

        Sadly that is the whole point.
        These people don’t have a heart, conscience, or functioning brain matter, so they don’t/won’t believe in God, or forgiveness.
        Their life is about money and materialism.
        We, the people, must continue to fight against this injustice, not just for the U.S. but around the world.

  5. can’t sign the petition if you won’t accept my email and tell me its a username and not allow the @ symbol that is required for all email addresses

  6. Michael Mowrey says:

    Help the people on fixed incomes to still be able to afford there medicine.

  7. Linda Hulsey says:

    Health insurance and medical care costs are skyrocketing because the drug companies are unbelievably greedy.

  8. Lilian Caughlin says:

    This is in many ways Un American. We state: bring your poor and huddled masses and then let them die due to high drug prices. It’s totally contradictory. Our country is on a shameful path denying their citizens affordable medicines. Other countries manage to put a cap on these matters. CEO’s can profit totally unabashed. This has nothing to do with capitalism, it’s immoral and slimy. Healthy Capitalism profits off goods not off peoples health. Epi Pens are a matter of life and death.

  9. So what happened to ObamaCare and to the $46 billion US that he granted the NIH in 2015 for it’s abominable Human Brain Project. All spent up and now charging the taxpayer further for the privilege of actually needing the drugs? Obama What?

  10. Lisa Zarafonetis Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & Shared❗️😠

  11. Am signing but with little hope. The drug companies have Washington in their pockets literally.

  12. A better way to break up the medical monopolies, ALL of them, not just pharmaceutical companies, would be for the DOJ to prosecute just one big medical company for breach of 15 U.S.C. (Anti-Trust). The Bayh-Dole Act is entirely irrelevant with regards to the greater problem – the medical monopolies are granted due to their lining the pockets of Congress. Looking to Congress to fix this is a fools errand. They won’t ever vote to give up their windfalls!! But prosecute one big medical company (remember Standard Oil, Microsoft, etc.) for violation of 15 U.S.C. and make it clear that the prosecutions will continue if the price fixing continues, watch the monopolies crumble. If they can’t collude to price fix, the inflated prices immediately come down. Plus, by having the Executive branch direct the DOJ for prosecutions, Congress is powerless to stop it.

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