WASHINGTON — It does not seem to matter how angrily President Trump tweets, how pointedly House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lobs a critique, or how shrewdly health secretary Alex Azar drafts a regulatory change.

The pharmaceutical industry is still winning in Washington.

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  • Do not forget to mention how this enables Drug corporations access to confiscate the personal property of the people that they say owes them money, for Nursing Home and Medication… Yes when you die they put a lien on your home and prevent your Airs from becoming your Beneficiaries.. They are into your Real Estate and Bank accounts…

  • As we think of what the medical cartel might lose with effective healthcare reforms (over $1.5 trillion per year), no wonder they spend so much on campaigns and lobbying. Trump tax cuts showed them that ROI from investments in political influence are higher than almost any other investment. So expect 2020 to be the most expensive election by far. (https://mHealthTalk.com/trillion/)

  • Anything “positive” coming out of “elected” officeholder’s mouths is gaslighting. In fact, gaslighting is lying about your lying.

  • Nice article, however comparing the pharmaceutical lobby to the NRA lobby, in a negative association, is dead wrong. The opiod pill pushing alone, has caused over 200,000 deaths in the USA. Now, disturbed people gojng on killing sprees in the same time period, is rather miniscule. Someday, the freedom to own guns in the USA might be a necessity, to overthrow a tyrannical govt.

    • I agree with you Rex regarding our 2nd amendment. However, the power of the lobbyists need to be restructured. They are bribing legislators, FDA, AMA, etc We will never see an end to the opiate epidemic until the swamp is drained. STOPPNow the Opiate Epidemic.

  • Pharma’s lobbying efforts have ALWAYS been successful, and they are orders of magnitude larger now than they were a half century ago. Back then, in the early 60s, Senator Estes Kefauver, outraged by high drug prices, initiated legislation that was primarily intended to control drug costs. Not everyone, however, appreciated his reforming efforts. He was branded a “socialist hell-bent on ruining healthcare” for his work. His opponents accused him of “trying to unnecessarily expand the power of government, threatening the viability of the pharmaceutical industry, and inserting Washington bureaucrats between patients and their doctors”. His labors were strongly opposed by the powerful pharmaceutical industry, of which he said, “These drug fellows pay for a lobby that make the steel boys look like popcorn vendors.” His efforts to reduce drug prices ended in failure. Interestingly, however, the legislation that did pass, the Kefauver-Harris Drug Control Act of 1962, required pharma companies to actually prove that their medicines were effective. Pharma hated that requirement at the time, but they now understand that this legislative requirement was the key driver of their success over the next 50 years.

  • The winners in the high price drug game are the PBM’s. They are the wolf that’s watching the hen house. They decide which drugs are on formulary and which aren’t. This is a directly proportionate to the amount of the drug rebate.
    PBM’s decide how much they pay their pharmacies, or their mail order houses and how little every other pharmacy gets paid. PBM’s get to keep that spread pricing and DIR fees. PBM’s are the ones that write the “Take it or Leave it ” contracts. PBM’s are the ones that insist their clients have mandatory mail order . Guess who owns the mail order house ? Yes, the PBM’s. You mean to tell me no one in Washington sees this ? Trump saw it when he gave his speech in the rose garden. Now he gave up on the PBM’s. There’s something not kosher in this hen house !!!!!!

    • Jeff you are correct. PBMs, Pharma and our legislators sleep together every night but get out of the same house at different times to make sure everything look KOSHER. ;:)

    • Cut out ALL the BS : the lobbying, campaign donations, drug rebates, deals to doctors, freebees for prescribers, PBMs etc etc. Stop all this bribery. It would hugely reduce BigPharma’s spending, that then for the same gross revenues could drastically reduce drug prices. Isn’t that the desired result? The result that already exists in every other country but the bribery-bitten USA ??? In those other countries there is a word and disdain for what is allowed in the USA : corruption.

  • It is easy for Pharma to win. They got every legislator and regulator in their back pocket. In our legalized corrupt system (aka Lobbying) they receive about $150,000 per year per legislator to keep their job every two and six year. FDA under GDFUA (legalized fee to keep folks at FDA employed) will overlook mistakes.

    Brand pharma has not introduced and/or will introduce any drug that is marginally better than existing drugs for the same disease that costs less than $1000.00 per month. In addition ORPHAN drugs was a brilliant move and they are in six figures.

    All this is supported by our legislators. So if we think Pharma will loose, DREAM ON USA. We haven’t seen anything yet.

    If Pharma has to sell their next of kin to win, they will do it. They know that people will die sooner or later so why not capitalize and take advantage of people’s desire to extend life. Cheers!

  • I agree another name for lobbying is bribing. And it has worked so well for the drug companies. Not mentioned in this article is the Opiate Epidemic. PhRMA has not only influenced our legislators but also our government agencies and the AMA. The CDC guidelines should be implemented into law instead PhRMA is trying to abolish the guidelines. The approval division of the FDA leads employees to a high paying position with the very drug company that benefitted. The swamp needs to be drained – hard to do since too many in power are benefiting.

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