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Big Pharma runs the show at the EU – Boylan

9 May, 2019 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has strongly criticised the pharmaceutical lobby, and by extension the EU Commission, for its sinister and irresponsible lobbying practices, saying that their money motivated political strategies are a direct threat to our human rights, particularly when it comes to affordable medicines.

The Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin said:

“Today's report by Corporate Europe Observatory reveals the nasty nature of Big Pharma; their lobbying is blocking solutions to tackling extremely high-priced medicines. Big Pharma is spending over €15 million per year on lobbying in Brussels and they are getting what they want. 

“I have been fighting for socio-economic rights in the European Parliament for five years now, especially with the right to water and right to renewable energy. The right to healthcare and medical treatment is recognised in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Yet, the Commission is ripping that to shreds by allowing itself be the puppet of Big Pharma, handing them millions in funding with no conditionality.

“Big Pharma is one of the most sinister lobbying machines here in Brussels, and they currently run the show. More money is being spent on developing anti-balding medicines than anti-malaria medicines, despite malaria claiming over one million lives a year. 

“The newly adopted Horizon Europe, the EU's €100 billion research fund, is a hand out to massive Pharma corporations to develop what is profitable to them, rather than developing affordable and necessary medicines. This is incredulously irresponsible of the Commission and the MEPs who voted this way. 

“In the recent research programme vote, the four Fine Gael MEPs, Deirdre Clune, Mairead McGuinness, Brian Hayes, and Sean Kelly, voted to delete the precautionary principle and insert what is called The Innovation Principle in its place. This new principle is an industry-­created tool to undermine key policies and regulations protecting human health, meaning public money will be given to Big Pharma to develop profitable medicines.  

“Uncritical Europhiles need to wake up to the corporate capture of the EU and come to terms with how infested the institutions are with lobbying power. Their money motivated political strategies are a direct threat to our human rights, particularly when it comes to affordable medicines. Access to medicines, including affordability, is quite literally a question of life or death and the EU is not doing enough to ensure appropriate pricing.

“We need MEPs who are not afraid to stand up to these giant lobbying machines. It is time to break them up and stop giving them free rein at the decision-making tables.” 

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