How Big Pharma’s Racist Price Gouging
Kills Black and Brown Folks
Health disparities experienced by Black and Brown communities are often discussed in terms of staggering data points and statistics. It is widely known that Black people are diagnosed at higher rates with conditions such as hypertension and diabetes, for example. However, racial and ethnic health inequities are evident not merely in numerical terms of disease prevalence, health outcomes, and life expectancy. Systemic racial discrimination targets Black and Brown people to the point that race itself could be considered a preexisting health condition. The avoidable inequalities created by structural racism concentrate health risk in Black and Brown communities and then block access to health care services, hamper public health initiatives, and leave aid and assistance to be meted out by inadequate charitable endeavors. Most egregiously, efforts by both government and medical industry leadership to address inequity place the blame and the onus upon these communities to address such health disparities, routinely shaming patients and making patronizing recommendations toward personal responsibility. The high cost of prescription drugs is a key part of this vicious cycle, and the role of Big Pharma’s complicity in extracting health and wealth from Black and Brown communities is the focus of this report.
Watch the roundtable discussion on the release of this report, race, public health, and Big Pharma.