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Big Pharma cheating countries out of billions in tax

The report, ‘Prescription for Poverty', analyses the financial disclosures from Pfizer, Merck & Co., Johnson & Johnson and Abbott, between 2013 and 2015 and finds:

  • The companies appear to be dodging an estimated NZ$5.5 billion in taxes in nine developed countries...Of this an estimated NZ$3.4 billion of tax was avoided per year in the US, enough to pay for health insurance for nearly 1 million poor children...
  • The companies also appear to be avoiding an estimated NZ$167 million per year of tax across seven developing countries...If these governments invested this money in healthcare, it could pay for 10 million girls to be vaccinated against the virus that causes cervical cancer...

‘Prescription for Poverty’ also outlines how the companies undermine poor people’s health by overpricing medicines - putting them out of reach for cash strapped public health services and poor patients...

Tax dodging is fuelling the inequality crisis, widening the gap between rich and poor. When drug companies dodge tax, it is the poorest in society who suffer the most as governments seek to balance their budgets by cutting essential services and raising other forms of tax...

“These drug companies present themselves as being concerned with social responsibility, but their business practices tell a different story....

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