by Joan McCarter
The bill, which she intends to introduce in the Senate next week, would take money from fines levied against major pharmaceutical companies that engaged in illegal practices and use it to fund drug research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“It’s like a swear jar,” Warren told the crowd at the Families USA Health Action Conference in Washington, according to her prepared remarks. “Whenever a huge drug company that is generating enormous profits as a result of federal research investments gets caught breaking the law—and wants off the hook—it has to put some money in the jar to help fund the next generation of medical research.” […]
Warren’s inspiration for her proposal sounds a lot like her populist rhetoric on the campaign trail in 2012. Although pharmaceutical companies deserve some of the credit for life-saving drugs, she argued Thursday, government deserves some too. “Blockbuster drugs that generate billion-dollar profits and are used by millions of consumers don’t just appear overnight as if by magic. Rarely do they appear as the result of a single, giant company’s individual genius,” Warren said, according to the prepared remarks. “Drug companies make great contributions, but so do taxpayers. In other words, we built those medical innovations together.”