Senators grill drug companies over 1% tax bill

The leaders of nine major pharmaceutical companies have been grilled at a Senate corporate tax avoidance inquiry about how they paid only $85 million in tax in 2014 on more than $8 billion in revenue.

The economics committee chairman, Senator Sam Dastyari (Labor), said it was “extraordinary” that companies had been able to drive down their taxable income to just 1% of revenue.

 “The evidence is that they have done what they can to drive up their costs to make themselves as artificially unprofitable as possible in Australia and make themselves more profitable in