Ex-energy trader takes on high drug prices
John Arnold, a former energy trader and hedge fund manager, is putting up millions of dollars to fight the pharmaceutical industry over drug prices, the Wall Street Journal reports.
By the numbers: Arnold has given $19 million to ICER, the independent organization that studies whether drugs are worth what they cost.
- Arnold and his wife have pledged another $5.7 million to I-MAK, an organization that challenges patents of brand name drugs.
- Another $1 million went to Civica Rx, the drugmaker founded by a consortium of hospitals to produce generic drugs.
- Arnold's foundation also funds the advocacy group Patients for Affordable Drugs, which has taken on industry allies from both political parties.
Why it matters: The pharmaceutical industry is so powerful and has remained free from political intervention for so long, in part because it's enormously well-funded — both in its direct lobbying and in its advocacy work.
- No one person is likely to outmatch the entire drug industry, but Arnold's foundation controls assets of more than $2 billion, per WSJ. That's more than the Red Cross — and enough to provide a credible counterweight to pharma.