Pay attention to the stories behind the headlines. In June 2023, this broke:
In related news, Merck announces publicly that they’ve bought off some Supreme Court Justices.*
*apparently, because WTF else could this mean?
I figure that next, Merck will claim that the USPTO (that protects its I.P. rights for years) is also unconstitutional because it wasn’t listed in Article VIII.**
**There are only seven Articles, but this makes as much sense as their first charge does.
Let’s fact-check a little more, shall we?
The 5th Amendment doesn’t protect profiteering, so that argument is dead. The federal government declared that a fair price would be set (that constitutional “just compensation” they mentioned). Merck is mad because they want to rake in outrageous profits for MORE years than they’re already allowed to.
Also, Merck is literally exercising rights under the First Amendment to claim that they can’t do just that.
Petition for a redress of grievances? ✅ Explicitly allowed.
Setting laws to forbid withholding life-saving meds because you can’t charge whatever you want FOREVER? Not related.
Moreover, Merck claims they’re being “coerced” to sign, but the entire point of eminent domain is for the Government to take private property for a project that will benefit the public. Withholding vital medicine to negotiate for a higher “fair value” can harm or kill people.
If a company wants to be treated like a person, then charge the Merck executives and board members with willful endangerment, or worse! That is, unless they take their fair-value agreement and continue to serve the public good with only modest profits instead of rapacious ones.
In the final consideration, Merck is bluffing anyway. They have the right to avoid selling to Medicare. Their profits will drop, and they may have to pay a tax for refusing, but they can continue to demand outrageous profits from private insurance, just not from their biggest client.
Profit, not revenue. $14.5 billion was just the part that was left over after they paid their bills, their employees, and everything else. I think we all know what their “core purpose” REALLY is.
Further reading: the original NY Times story, published June 6, 2023: “Merck Sues Over Law Empowering Medicare to Negotiate With Drugmakers”