Tag Archives: covid-19

U.S. taxpayers already paid for COVID-19 treatments — we cannot let Big Pharma make us pay again

U.S. taxpayers have already paid for the research and testing of the most promising treatments

There’s much we don’t yet know about COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. We don’t know how long the pandemic will last, when a vaccine will be developed, or how many lives antiviral medications can save. But there’s one thing we know for sure: U.S. taxpayers have already paid for the research and testing of the most promising treatments.

These treatments should be available to everyone who needs them at no cost. But the Trump administration’s drug policy is led by two former pharmaceutical executives, and that is having devastating consequences for potential access to treatments and vaccines for the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you’ve been watching Donald Trump’s daily press briefings, that might come as a surprise. During his 2016 campaign, Trump loved to talk tough on pharma and say he would fight for lower drug prices. But then he put Alex Azar, a big pharma CEO infamous for doubling the price of insulin, in charge of regulating health care. Several weeks ago, Azar refused to guarantee that a coronavirus vaccine will be affordable for all, citing the need to protect big pharma’s profits.

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In an unprecedented move, the Trump administration suspended an 82-year-old road safety law for some truck drivers, showing how much coronavirus is pressuring retailers and hospitals to maintain cleaning and medical supplies

  • The hours-of-service laws, which mandate how many hours a truck driver may work and have been in place for truck drivers since 1938, are suspended at a federal level for the first time in history.
  • As of Friday evening, truck drivers who are moving medical supplies and consumer goods like masks and hand sanitizer do not have to follow HOS.
  • It’s common on a local or state level to lift these safety regulations amid natural disasters, like floods or hurricanes, that require stores and hospitals to stay stocked with necessary goods.
  • Truck drivers move 70% of the nation’s goods by weight. They’re responsible for replenishing stores and hospitals with necessary items.

The federal administration that oversees regulations for America’s six million professional drivers has temporarily suspended a trucking safety law that’s been in place since 1938.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said Friday evening that truck drivers who are moving goods “in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks” will temporarily not have to follow the hours-of-service laws, which mandate how many hours a truck driver may work.

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