Eli Lilly Feels The Bern

As public outrage has grown over the past few months about the rising cost of prescription drugs - a certain senator from Vermont has emerged as a one-man Big Pharma-wrecking machine.

I'm talking - of course - about Bernie Sanders.

Bernie first flexed his muscle against Big Pharma back in October - when he sent out a tweet blasting Ariad Pharmaceuticals for raising the price of a leukemia treatment drug to almost $119,000 a year.

That tweet sent Ariad stock plummeting.

By the end of the day on October 14, its shares were down 15 percent.

But Bernie wasn't finished there.

Two weeks later, another drug company found itself in his very influential crosshairs.

Bernie's new target is Eli Lilly - which makes and sells a type of insulin known as Humalog.

When Humalog first went on the market in 1996 - a single vial cost $21 in 1996 -- it now costs $255.

Adjusted for inflation - that's a 700 percent price hike!


You bet - which is why Bernie put Lilly on blast by linking to a Washington Post story detailing its price hikes - hikes he said could only be explained by the "pharmaceutical industry's greed".

These tweets had an immediate impact.

After they went out, Eli Lilly's shares dropped 2.4 percent in just a matter of hours - and while they did recover before the end of the day, these midday losses dropped the company's stock to its lowest price in months.

Talk about feeling the Bern!

But anyways - this isn't just about how good Bernie is at using Twitter.

There are some really big issues at play here.

For millions of sick Americans - the astronomical prices they are forced to pay for lifesaving drugs like Humalog are literally a matter of life and death.

If they can't afford to buy the drugs they need - they will die.

Which raises the question - isn't this a perfect example of why we need government intervention in the marketplace?

If left to its own devices - capitalism does not care about human lives.

It cares about profit.

And even though we value private enterprise - we've traditionally called on the government to intervene in the marketplace when lives are at stake.

So - isn't that what we should do here?

Isn't it time we put a maximum limit on the price people have to pay for lifesaving drugs?


THPfan 6 years 20 weeks ago

The increase of the stock prices for drug companies would seem to indicate the belief ultra-capitalist Trump will allow them to price gouge, no questions asked !

Outback 6 years 20 weeks ago

These swine, the CEO's of big pharma in particular, are of a certain caste. It will be interesting to see how willing our new President Elect is in reining them in on behalf to the poor, disenfranchised white masses that just handed him the election (Hillary might have performed just marginally better, but only to maintain the illusion of a difference). Are you paying attention, Trump voters? Do you have the mental horsepower to realize what's happening to us? When the FRACK will this country wake UP ??? !!!

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 6 years 20 weeks ago

Not a Clinton dynasty fan by any means... however, hoping Trump can retain his balls against the BLOODY establishment

Stock price is an irrellevance when you can't get food for your family because your job has been farmed out to suit some blasted shareholder in a bloody company thats only objective is dividends

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 6 years 20 weeks ago

Pharma has evil intention... nothing to do do with the "hippocratic oath"

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 6 years 20 weeks ago

On the downside, we did everything we could against big pharma in CA trying to pass prop 61. Big Phama spent at least $109 million and we lost. Prop 61 would have forced big pharma to sell drugs to people on Medical etc to pay the same price as the VA pays.

OhioInvestigator's picture
OhioInvestigator 6 years 20 weeks ago

GREG PALAST's investigative report, "Bush Family Fortunes" aired on the BBC in the summer of 2003. Palast proved conclusively that Jeb Bush, Florida Sec. State Harris and Clayton Roberts rigged the 2000 presidential election with the phony felons list. Those people used $4.5 million of taxpayer money to pay DBT Choicepoint to create a felons list that could be used in Florida to exclude convicted felons from voting. But the matches on the list were 95% wrong! So in the 2000 election in Florida, at least 50,000 people, who went to vote, were turned away with the claim that they were convicted felons. But, they weren't. So the official vote count gave the Florida election to G.W. Bush with just 537 more votes than Gore. AND, Harris was Bush's Florida campaign chairman! I called the BBC in London after watching "Bush Family Fortunes." I was able to talk to the director, Steve Grandison, and told him I believed that if millions of Americans watched "Bush Family Fortunes", G.W. Bush would be defeated in the 2004 election. He immediately told me he would send me a VHS tape of the program. I told him I would make copies and send them to the Ohio Democratic Party and the national Democratic Party. I received the tape, made copies and mailed them to both Democratic Party locations. I included a letter telling them how I received the program and that I believed the truth in the Palast investigation would turn a lot of voters against G.W. Bush and the Bush family. I asked them to use the program in the 2004 presidential campaign to make sure that the American voter had the information of the 2000 election fraud and how Jeb Bush, Harris and Roberts rigged the election. I NEVER GOT A REPLY FROM EITHER THE OHIO PARTY OR THE NATIONAL PARTY! Then, G.W. Bush got re-elected in another questionable election. I have been a life-long Democrat, but getting NO reply to my letter and tape made me start to question just who controls the Democratic Party. What happened to Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Primary makes me even more suspicious. So, Thom, why don't you have me on your show to tell your viewers my story from 2003? Whenever I try calling the 202 number, I get a busy signal. You have my email address, so send me an email and I will call a phone number you give me. Thank You for the work you do to get the TRUTH out to the American People. BTW, I am a disabled Vietnam War veteran.

OhioInvestigator's picture
OhioInvestigator 6 years 20 weeks ago

Big Pharma wins, Joe and Jane Average get screwed, get more sick and die. The latest Epi-Pen and insulin scandals prove conclusively that Big Pharma only cares about money, not human beings and their health / lives. Joe Manchan's daughter, CEO of the company that makes the Epi-Pen, got a raise from about $2 million a year to over $20 million after they raised the price of the Epi-Pen 600%. And, Joe Manchan's history is being a DINO big-time.

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