Hazardous to your health

How the Trump tax cuts to Big Pharma widen inequality and undermine the health of women and girls

The promise of the 2017 US corporate tax makeover was that, in exchange for deep tax cuts, US companies would invest, boost economic prosperity and create decent jobs. Any revenue losses from the corporate tax cuts would pay for themselves, proponents claimed, through economic growth and by tackling offshore corporate tax avoidance. But early evidence shows a very different picture.

Amid growing concern that the pharmaceutical industry’s pricing, tax and lobbying practices are undermining the health of millions of people in the US and across the globe, this briefing presents new findings on how the biggest corporate tax cut in a generation has benefited four of America’s pharmaceutical giants.

According to Oxfam’s analysis of their end-of-year financial statements, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Merck and Abbott Laboratories seem to have received almost $7 billion last year from two central provisions in the new tax code, which the companies used to increase payouts to shareholders while research and development flat-lined. This corporate gain comes at a massive public loss, especially to the health and well-being of women and girls.