Sen. Tina Smith Says Minnesotans Deserve to Know How Drug Companies Are Using Billions in Tax Breaks

WASHINGTON, D.C. [05/17/18]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith is introducing legislation that would require pharmaceutical companies to share with Minnesotans and people across the country how they’re using the billions of dollars in tax breaks they received as a result of the Republican tax bill.

The GOP tax law provided pharmaceutical companies with large windfalls that could have been used to bring down costs for consumers. But earlier this year, news reports showed that some top pharmaceutical companies used a large chunk of their tax cuts to benefit investors and drive up stocks. Sen. Smith’s bill—the Disclosing Pharmaceutical Company Windfall Profits Act—would make it possible for Americans to understand what companies are doing with these taxpayer dollars.
“Skyrocketing prescription drug prices are hurting Minnesota families, and at the same time, pharmaceutical companies are raking in staggering profits,” said Sen. Tina Smith. “I firmly believe we need to do all we can to tackle prescription drug prices, and part of this is knowing just how many dollars are going into the pockets of investors and shareholders rather than consumers, and what action—if any—pharmaceutical companies are taking to lower drug prices.”

The Disclosing Pharmaceutical Company Windfall Profits Act would make it possible for consumers in Minnesota and across the country to access data from publicly traded pharmaceutical companies, including:

Dividend increases and share buybacks since Nov. 2, 2017 (the date of introduction of the Republican tax bill),
Bonuses or pay raises for officers and directors after the tax bill,
Value of research and development tax credits claimed each year,
Any change in research and development spending on prescription drugs,
Amount of funds repatriated from overseas,
A country-by-country description of the company’s income, assets, and other items to help assess whether they are moving jobs or income overseas,
Lobbying expenses, including state and local lobbying expenses that are often undisclosed in other lobbying disclosure forms, and
A description of any other major actions that were principally the result of the Republican tax bill.   

A summary of the bill is available here.