News Release

TPP, Pharma Bro

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 9.29.11 AMThe Trans-Pacific Partnership was signed last week but has yet to be ratified. See in The Hill: “Trump: I ‘very much agree’ with Sanders on trade.” See Politifact: “Hillary Clinton flip-flops on Trans-Pacific Partnership.”

ZAHARA HECKSCHER, BookZahara at gmail.com, @ZaharaHeckscher
Heckscher
is a breast cancer patient, writer and educator who lives in Washington, D.C. She released the following statement upon release from jail following arrest at a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) protest on World Cancer Day.

“I am a mom with advanced breast cancer. I lost my mother to breast cancer when I was 11. That’s why I was arrested at a protest on World Cancer Day at the headquarters of PhRMA, which has been lobbying to increase monopolies for medicines in the TPP, or Trans-Pacific Partnership. …

“If ratified, the TPP would lock in monopolies for certain new medicines, biological medicines that help people like me stay alive. Monopolies allow drug companies to increase prices dramatically, and high prices decrease access. This means that some people with cancer will die because they can’t get the medicine they need. …

“The day of our protest, World Cancer Day, coincided with the testimony in Congress by ‘pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli. He is called ‘the most hated man in America’ because he raised the price of a medicine for toxoplasmosis from under $20 to $750 per tablet.

“Congress rightly took Shkreli to task for his unconscionable actions. But if Congress votes for the TPP, they will be locking in policies, most likely for decades to come, that create incentives for pharmaceutical companies to act like Shkreli did. For cancer patients, that would be truly unconscionable.”

See from Public Citizen, which includes video of Heckscher’s arrest: “On World Cancer Day, Cancer Patients Arrested at PhRMA Headquarters to Warn of ‘Death Sentence’ Imposed by Trans-Pacific Partnership Expansion of Medicine Monopolies.”