Statement of NOW President Patricia Ireland
September 5, 2000
In a truly reprehensible example of corporate welfare and greed, Bristol-Myers Squibb continues to charge monopoly prices (a reported 2000 percent mark up) for Taxol, a life-sustaining drug developed with millions of dollars of taxpayer-funded research and urgently needed by women stricken with breast and ovarian cancers and AIDS patients with Kaposi's Sarcoma.
By exposing Bristol-Myers' blatant manipulation of the regulatory and judicial systems, NOW intends to pressure the company to stop its unconscionable, and so far successful campaign to block Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of a generic version of Taxol. This would substantially reduce the cost of Taxol and help meet the needs of desperately ill patients, and frustrated taxpayers.
We are calling on Bristol-Myers to stop this irresponsible corporate behavior. We thank the FDA for its preliminary approval of a generic version of Taxol and urge the head of the FDA, Dr. Jane Henney, to take the only fair course of action and disallow Bristol-Myers' attempt to continue its price gouging and allow final approval and marketing of the generic drug.