Santa Monica, CA — Biotech giant Genentech today announced its net income soared 61 percent to $792 million from $491 million in the first quarter of 2006 and consumer advocates said the outrageous profits came thanks to public funding of Genentech‘s research.
“Drugs like the cancer-fighting Avastin were key to Genentech‘s profits. They don’t tell you that $44.6 million of taxpayer dollars went to develop the drug,” said John M. Simpson, Stem Cell Project Director for the Foundation For Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR).
Genentech had been charging $100,000 a year for the drug because its executives thought that was what the market would tolerate. When faced with public outrage over the exorbitant price, the company capped charges at $55,000 a year. Even with the cap, the price does not adequately reflect the public’s investment in the drug, FTCR said.
Taking public funding carries the obligation of public responsibility, FTCR said. “Biotech executives spend too much time on Wall Street,” Simpson said. “They need to get back to Main Street where real people live. We’re the ones paying for all this.”
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The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is a Santa Monica, CA ‘based nonprofit, nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization. Visit our website at www.ConsumerWatchdog.org.