It may only be her first year in Congress, but Representative Katie Porter (D-CA) has already established herself as a titan for holding corporations and those who profit from them accountable.
Her line of questions during a recent House Oversight Committee Hearing on drug prices was no different.
Porter unleashed on Mark J. Allies, CEO of the major pharmaceutical company Celgene. The Congresswoman pulled out her famous whiteboard to lay out her math, exposing the money he personally made from gouging the price of a cancer drug called Revlimid.
Porter began by writing "$13 million" on the whiteboard, asking Allies if he knew what the number was.
"I think you're referring to my compensation in some way."
Porter pointed out that out of the $13 million, $2.1 million came from Celgene meeting its yearly targets.
Porter pointed out:
"Any increase in the price of Revlimid would also increase your bonus by increasing earnings. isn't that right, Mr. Allies?"
He answered in the affirmative.
The Congresswoman continued.
"The Oversight Committee found that if you hadn't increased the price of Revlimid, you wouldn't have gotten your bonus. Mr. Allies, do you know how much you personally received in bonuses over the last two years just because Celgene raised the price of this one drug, Revlimid?"
When Allies responded that he received generous compensation, Porter laid out the rest of the details.
"The drug didn't get any better. The cancer patients didn't get any better. You just got better at making money. You just refined your skills at price gouging. And to be clear, the taxpayers spent $3.3 billion on Revlimid."
With untold numbers of Americans paying exorbitant prices for lifesaving medication, people applauded Porter for taking Allies to task.
They felt she perfectly highlighted Allies' greed and the broader greed that for-profit pharmacy promulgates.