Ireland’s corporate tax system is helping some of the world’s largest drug companies deprive emerging economies of almost €100 million a year, according to aid agency Oxfam.
The group, which campaigns against global poverty, says in a report published on Tuesday that legitimate tax practices have allowed four of the largest pharma companies “deprive the cash-strapped governments” of seven developing countries of more than €96.6 million each year.
The companies examined in the report, Hard to Swallow: Facilitating Tax Avoidance by Big Pharma in Ireland, are Abbott, Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Pfizer and Merck. All four operate in Ireland where, between them, they employ about 10,000 people.
The Irish report is produced in parallel with a wider study by Oxfam America, Prescription for Poverty: Drug Companies as Tax Dodgers, Price Gougers and Influence Peddlers, that will also be published on Tuesday. Both examine the impact on seven developing economies – those of Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, India, Pakistan, Peru and Thailand.