Twitter Can't Get Enough of Katie Porter and Her Whiteboard
She schooled a pharma CEO on price-gouging.
Representative Katie Porter was out doing Katie Porter things today. During a House Oversight Committee testimony, three pharmaceutical executives, including former Celgene CEO Mark Alles, answered questions about drug pricing and, unfortunately for Alles, Porter brought her whiteboard. According to The Week, Porter reminded him that a Revlimid pill (a bone marrow cancer treatment) cost $215 back in 2005 and that when he left Celgene last year, after it was sold to Bristol-Myers Squibb, a single Revlimid pill cost $763.
"Did the drug get substantially more effective in that time? Did cancer patients need fewer pills?" Porter asked. When Alles replied that Revlimid proved to be more effective in more patients, she added, "So you discovered more patients who might benefit from paying $763 a pill?"
Porter went on to dissect Alles's $13 million salary ("It's 200 times the average American's income and 360 times what the average senior makes on Social Security.") before administering a Mortal Kombat Fatality-worthy blow. "The drug didn't get any better, the cancer patients didn't get any better, you just got better at making money," she finished.
Twitter users latched onto Porter's passion and conviction, as well as her expert use of visual aids.
Others applauded her for her straightforward approach to tearing into CEOs for lining their pockets while the general public struggles to afford medication. With a background in consumer-protection law, it's not surprising that she's looking out for the general public and calling out anyone who's making money as others struggle.