Big Pharma is one of the most powerful industries in the world. The global revenue for pharmaceuticals was over $1 trillion in 2014. But nowhere else in the world do the drug and medical device industries have as much power and make as much money as in the U.S.
Six of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies for 2017 have their headquarters in the U.S. These include Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Merck, Gilead, Amgen and AbbVie.
But only 28 percent of Americans have a good opinion of Big Pharma. In fact, Big Pharma is the second most hated industry in America. It’s right behind the tobacco industry and the oil, gas and chemical industry.
Big Pharma is also the biggest defrauder of the Federal Government under the False Claims Act, according to consumer watchdog group Public Citizen.
The industry has a history of fraud, bribery, lawsuits and scandals. Despite criminal charges and fines, Big Pharma companies continue to do business.
By 2021, Big Pharma profits for prescription drugs are expected to reach $610 billion. Medical devices are also lucrative.
The U.S. makes about $148 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
That’s about half of the world’s share of the market. Americans spent an all-time high of $457 billion on prescription drugs in 2015.
And drug prices continue to rise. Consulting firm Segal Consulting expects drug prices to rise 11.6 percent in 2017. This estimate is for Americans under the age of 65.
In contrast, wages are only expected to rise 2.5 percent. This means many Americans won’t be able to afford their medications. Information about the pharmaceutical industry found here.
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