WASHINGTON — With annual revenues of roughly $450 million and an army of some 160 lobbyists, PhRMA has long been described in near mythological terms by both awed opponents and reverent allies: It’s untouchable, it never loses, it can kill a bill before the ink is dry on the first draft.
Suddenly, however, the industry lobbying powerhouse looks far more vulnerable.
More than a dozen current and former staffers and lobbyists connected to the drug industry told STAT that as Democrats take control of the House in January, PhRMA is struggling to preserve its clout.
In the article there is disturbingly applicable terminology : lobbyists, job-offers, donations, strong or long-standing relationships, (politicians) accepting moneys, multi-million dollar expenses for lobbying activities, pouring campaign cash into (political party) coffers ….. Collectively this paints a very ugly yet unfortunately very true picture : money talks, rendering everything for sale that ought not to be. Utter corruption.
The Pharma Industry has already proven to be a criminal organization. They used the current dysfunction, greed and incompetence in the administration to increase their profits. They are not accountable in any way. American taxpayers paid for the R +D on many of these drugs, and these pharma companies profited from them, at the expense of all of us.
The Democrats need to evaluate the deceptive marketing, of not only the pharmaceuticals, but the use of advertorials and “educating” journalists that write misleading articles about the industry. This country used to have laws, and we used to be able to enforce the laws. A few fines here and there have not slowed the greed and malfeasance.
The Medical Industrial Complex, as so well epitomized by Big Pharma, makes even the Military Industrial Complex blush with envy for its capacity to get away with lining the pockets of Congress–both aisles. Who but Big Pharma sends so many well-heeled, and high-heeled, lobbyists to Capitol Hill?
That extent of so much payola to play the game will never end until its demise is legislated by the very same Congress.
Who can forget how Big Pharma spent north of $250 Million to push Medicare Part D in 2002, as this meant an open spigot of pushing more drugs at full retail cost? As a reward for pushing this legislation, including to prevent Medicare from negotiating prices, Committee Chair Rep. Billy Tauzin was directly awarded by PhRMA with its presidency. And here we thought that only happened in “Banana Republics…”
And if we ever get a Congress with a spine, it will also have the FDA withdraw its approval from 1997 allowing Big Pharma to advertise its prescription drugs in the broadcast media. But how can we expect such a conflicted Congress whose motto is, “where’s mine,” to ever appreciate how Big Pharma ads are meant to artificially push demand, just as how cigarette ads used to cultivate desire?
We’re still not addressing the issue of the PBM’s stealing that spread between the bogus AWP price and the actual cost of the medication. Then how do we stop the PBM’s from paying pharmacies way below what the medication cost them ?
So, they have no more options left. Time to move from legalized bribes, to good old fashioned hardcore bribing. Which BTW, is the best kind of bribing!
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