Commentary: Big Pharma’s Wokeness

by Paul Bradford


Big Pharma is not your friend. Whether it’s hiking up drug prices or bribing the Swamp, the pharmaceutical industry works against the people’s interests. Many Americans are aware of Big Pharma’s greed and the power it wields over Washington, D.C., but fewer are aware of just how left-wing the industry is. It serves as a cash cow for the left and pushes woke ideas on its employees and the country at large. This may explain why Democrats, who act like they hate Big Pharma, serve the industry’s interests.

While the drugmakers spread their cash around all of DC, they overwhelmingly prefer Democrats. In recent elections, Big Pharma donated significantly more money to Democratic candidates than Republican candidates. From 2016 to 2022, the industry gave a whopping $29 million to Democratic candidates. This trend stands true for the current election cycle, with more cash going to Democrats once again. This favoritism extends to the presidential race. The drug lobby has donated four times more money to Joe Biden than it has to Donald Trump. And the industry’s generosity to Team Blue doesn’t end with individual candidates. Its chief lobby, PhRMA, also gives millions to liberal campaign arms like the Democratic Attorneys General Association.

Democratic campaigns are just one aspect of Big Pharma’s wokeness. The pharmaceutical giants lavishly donate to left-wing causes outside of electoral politics.

Big Pharma finances left-wing front groups that serve its interests. One such group is the PBM Accountability Project, which is an effort intended to support legislation against pharmacy benefit managers. PBMs are third-party operators that negotiate for lower drug prices on behalf of health insurance recipients. Big Pharma has an interest in reducing their influence on the market so they can rake in even more profits.


The PBM Accountability Project is the creation of America’s Agenda, which is financed by PhRMA. The group brings together figures associated with labor unions to lobby for restrictions on PBMs. Unions are critical to America’s left-wing coalition, and Big Pharma utilizes their muscle for its own interests. It’s no surprise, then, that union-loving Bernie Sanders is advancing a bill to restrict PBMs in Congress. The socialist senator and Big Pharma have a lot in common.

The big drugmakers proudly endorsed Black Lives Matter and its radical agenda in 2020. Many of its leading executives issued groveling statements that apologized for their white privilege and America’s alleged systematic racism. “As the CEO of the world’s largest healthcare company, I must state unequivocally that racism in any form is unacceptable and that black lives matter,” Johnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky declared at the time. “And as a white man, I also need to acknowledge the limits of my own life experience and listen to those who have faced systemic injustice since the day they were born.”

The industry backed up these words with action, donating tens of millions of dollars to BLM-related groups. They also eagerly adopted DEI policies and forced them on their employees. Johnson & Johnson was at the forefront of that endeavor. In its packet on DEI policies, the company proclaimed that it built its work environment on the principle of “gender and diversity equity.” Pfizer was another leader in this effort. It made its workers go through DEI brainwashing and even recommended that they read the anti-white writings of Ibram X. Kendi. This embrace of DEI also impacted hiring practices at companies like Pfizer. Managers were instructed to discriminate against whites and males in the hiring process and favor applicants who simply checked off the minority quota.

Big Pharma has also played a role in the insidious spread of gender ideology in the country. PhRMA and Pfizer are the chief sponsors of the “Healthcare Equality Index,” an initiative created by the Human Rights Campaign. This index strives to make hospitals conform to the extremes of gender ideology, such as mandating pronouns and recommending sexual reassignment surgery to minors.

The industry also played a big role in efforts to suppress skeptics of the COVID vaccine. The drugmakers deployed their political power to get social media platforms to censor criticism and questions surrounding their product. Sadly, many of the social media platforms caved to this pressure.

It’s clear whose side Big Pharma is on.

Many conservatives realize that much of corporate America is beholden to the radical left. Big Pharma is no exception here–it’s just as woke as Big Tech.

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Paul Bradford is a Capitol Hill refugee now earning an honest living.
Photo “Pfizer” by Marco Verch. CC BY 2.0.







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