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Heller’s Tax Bill Boosts Big Pharma Stock Buybacks… While Nevadans Struggle to Afford Their Prescriptions

The more we learn about the disastrous tax plan passed by Sen. Dean Heller and Washington Republicans, the more we realize just how much it benefits Wall Street and corporate CEOs at the expense of hardworking families. Case in point: a new report finds that big pharmaceutical companies are using their new tax breaks to buy back their own stock at a record pace—“the highest level in at least 10 years” according to Bloomberg—while prescription drug costs are still sky-high.

And instead of helping consumers afford their life-saving medications, Big Pharma is using their tax windfall for a record stock buyback splurge that only serves to line the pockets of CEOs and wealthy shareholders.

Bloomberg: GOP tax overhaul prompts drugmakers to buy back shares at highest rate in at least a decade

Drugmakers, whose industry pricing faced renewed scorn this month from President Trump, have been taking advantage of the GOP tax overhaul he signed last year to buy back shares of their own underperforming stocks.

Large-cap biopharmaceutical companies took advantage of repatriation of overseas profits and lower corporate tax rates to push share repurchases to the highest level in at least 10 years. Companies led by Amgen Inc. and Pfizer Inc. bought back a combined $16.7 billion in the most recent quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

And they’re not done. Celgene Corp., whose market value has been cut in half over the course of about seven months, on Thursday boosted its repurchase capacity by $3 billion and planned a $2-billion accelerated buyback.

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