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Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said, “I’ve always been a big supporter of big pharma … I’m all for the profit motive, the development of new drugs.” The statement made on the Vicki McKenna show in October 2021 was in the context of Johnson’s ongoing support of major pharmaceutical corporations — despite his critique of manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines.

Johnson has said he supports “big pharma” on several occasions. On another radio show, he mentioned his reluctance to allow Medicare to negotiate the cost of certain prescription drugs included in the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act. Johnson said the measure would “start punishing the pharmaceutical industry” and discourage “life-saving drugs.”

So far in the 2021–22 election cycle, the health sector, which includes pharmaceutical and health product companies, health care professionals and hospitals, contributed $627,451 to Johnson and $822,594 to his Democratic challenger Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.


iHeart: Ron Johnson on the Vicki McKenna Show, October 22, 2021 — 1:41:36

WisPolitics: List of quotes from Ron Johnson discussing his support of pharmaceutical corporations

SoundCloud: Ron Johnson worries about ‘punishing’ big pharma on the Brian Kilmeade Show

Open Secrets: Wisconsin Senate 2022 race: Sector totals

Open Secrets: Health lobbying profile

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Jacob Alabab-Moser / Wisconsin WatchFact Checker

Jacob Alabab-Moser joined as Wisconsin Watch’s fact checker in September 2022, as part of the effort by The Gigafact Project in partnership with different state-level news outlets to combat misinformation in the 2022 midterm elections. Jacob has several years of experience as a fact checker and research assistant at a variety of organizations, including at The Gigafact Project. He holds a BA from Brown University and is pursuing a MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science.