Panama Papers, Human Rights and Health: What are the Links? - by Khadija Sharife | Health and Human Rights Journal
Pharmaceutical companies blame the cost of research and development (R&D) for the high costs of new drugs, particularly in the United States where there is no price ceiling on drugs. Yet of the $550 billion in profits generated from 1996 to 2005, only $228 billion was expended on R&D, compared to $739 billion spent on marketing the new products.
(...) When it comes to health, as ANCIR’s investigative project of 13 pharmaceutical companies revealed, not all tax havens are equal. The tax havens used as the places of residence for subsidiaries holding the intangible assets were: Delaware, US (287 subsidiaries), Netherlands (166 subsidiaries), Ireland (102 subsidiaries), Switzerland (84 subsidiaries) and Luxembourg (64 subsidiaries). Delaware’s competitive edge is its complete exemption of all intangible income. In Luxembourg, exemption is 80% provided the activities are intra-company or between subsidiaries of the same parent entity. Companies have then specifically created corporate structures designed to ensure both secrecy and tax exemption of costs, real or otherwise, attributed to intangible assets.