National Center for Public Policy Research press release


For Release: May 24, 2011
Contact: David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or (703) 568-4727 or [email protected]
or Judy Kent at (703) 759-7476 or [email protected]

 

Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier to Be Challenged Over Merck's Pro-ObamaCare Lobbying

Poll Shows Merck Vulnerable to Boycott from Conservatives for Financially Supporting President Obama's Health Care Takeover

 

Washington, D.C. - Policy experts from the National Center For Public Policy Research will challenge Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier today, May 24, over his company's financial support for an advertising campaign that promoted ObamaCare.

David Ridenour
, the National Center's Vice President, and Justin Danhof, the National Center's General Counsel, will hold Frazier accountable at Merck's annual shareholder meeting in North Branch, New Jersey for Merck's participation in the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) multi-million dollar lobbying campaign for ObamaCare last year.

"PhRMA reportedly committed over $150 million for advertising to promote ObamaCare, and Merck shareholders have a right to know how much they paid for this potentially-fatal self-inflicted wound," said Ridenour. "It's not too late for Merck executives to walk the company back from the ledge by renouncing this fatally-flawed health care law and committing serious resources to overturn it. ObamaCare only makes sense for Merck if it plans to stop producing innovative new medications that save and improve lives, and I don't think that's the vision any Merck shareholder bought into."

"Merck's reputation is in serious jeopardy as support for ObamaCare plummets and federal courts rule the ill-conceived law is unconstitutional," added Danhof. "Someone with Frazier's business expertise should realize that supporting bitterly partisan legislation would alienate a large segment of Merck's consumer base. Conservatives, who make up 42 percent of the U.S. population, may boycott Merck in favor of companies that more align with their values."

Ridenour and Danhof will distribute a poll showing that conservatives take a dim view of companies that lobbied for President Obama's healthcare overhaul. The poll, commissioned late last year by the National Center For Public Policy Research and FreedomWorks, shows that Merck is vulnerable to a boycott from conservatives and Tea Party supporters.

"Our polling data is irrefutable. It shows that favorability for a major American pharmaceutical company dropped 53 percent among conservatives after participants were informed that the company lobbied for ObamaCare," said Danhof. "Frazier needs to explain to the shareholders why he placed his support for President Obama's healthcare takeover ahead of his company's bottom line."

For more details on the poll, see: http://www.nationalcenter.org/teapartysurvey.pdf

Ridenour and Danhof will also deliver copies of the National Center For Public Policy Research's book, Shattered Lives: 100 Victims of Government Health Care. The book, authored by National Center President Amy Ridenour and Policy Analyst Ryan Balis, tells tragic stories of individuals across the globe that suffer under state-run healthcare systems that ration and limit healthcare options and access.

"ObamaCare establishes payment advisory boards that will end up rationing medical care, including by restricting access to some of the world's most advanced, life-saving pharmaceuticals due to their enormous costs," said David Ridenour. "By helping finance the lobbying campaign for ObamaCare, Merck didn't just betray the American people, it betrayed its own shareholders."

To download a free PDF of the book or to order it from Amazon, go to http://www.nationalcenter.org/ShatteredLives.html

The National Center For Public Policy Research is a Merck stockholder.

The National Center For Public Policy Research is a conservative, free-market non-profit think-tank established in 1982. It is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters, had 2010 revenue of and receives less than one percent of its revenue from corporate sources.

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