Washington, DC – Today, Patients Over Pharma released the following statement in response to reports that U.S-based Rising Pharmaceuticals had doubled the price of their antimalarial drug chloroquine, a potential COVID-19 treatment, before retreating and reducing the price to pre-increase level.

“This arbitrary doubling, and then reducing, of a potential coronavirus treatment highlights what should be crystal-clear by now: we shouldn’t leave it to Big Pharma to determine the affordability of vaccines and treatments that they developed using taxpayer dollars,” said Eli Zupnick, spokesman for Patients Over Pharma.

Secretary Azar may be hesitant to pressure his former colleagues in the pharmaceutical industry, but with every day that goes by, the Trump Administration’s immoral and irresponsible refusal to enact policies that put patients and public health ahead of their Big Pharma friends and their profits becomes more and more egregious.

“This report should be a wakeup call for policymakers to immediately enact policies to protect patients and public health by ensuring that coronavirus vaccines and treatments developed using taxpayer dollars are affordable and accessible to every American as quickly as possible.”

According to a recent report from Public Citizen, the pharmaceutical industry hasn’t made significant investments in infectious diseases, including coronaviruses, while the National Institutes of Health has invested nearly $700 million on coronavirus R&D since the SARS outbreak.

###