Pharmaceutical Companies Face Changes in Democratic Congress

I’ve often described Bush’s Medicare plan as a major act of corporate welfare to reward the pharmaceutical and insurance companies for all their support. The Washington Post reports on the changes on K Street following the elections, with the pharmaceutical companies in particular facing changes:

Drug companies are particularly hungry for Democratic help, including the industry’s trade association. “We woke up the day after the election to a new world,” said Ken Johnson, spokesman for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. “We’re going to have tough days ahead of us.”

A post-election e-mail to executives at the drug company GlaxoSmithKline details just how tough. “We now have fewer allies in the Senate,” says the internal memo, obtained by The Washington Post. “Thus, there is greater risk over the next two years that bad amendments will be offered to pending legislation.” The company’s primary concerns are bills that would allow more imported drugs and would force price competition for drugs bought under Medicare.

The defeat of Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) “creates a big hole we will need to fill,” the e-mail says. Sen.-elect Jon Tester (D-Mont.) “is expected to be a problem,” it says, and the elevation to the Senate of Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) “will strengthen his ability to challenge us.”

The e-mail also mentions that Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) “has worked closely” with the company and that the firm’s PAC had supported six Democratic senators who faced reelection. “These relationships should help us moderate proposals offered by Senate Democrats,” the e-mail says.

Explaining the memo, GlaxoSmithKline spokeswoman Patricia Seif said: “It’s important that we’re knowledgeable about the positions of the members of the next Congress.”

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  1. 1
    Probus says:

    I’m glad the pharmaceutical and health insurance companies find themselves in a tough spot. The American people have had to bear the brunt of these unfair practices ever since Bush-Cheney took office. I would like to see the new Congress take up the issue of allowing medicare to negotiate with foreign pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices. It is immoral that poor Americans are unable to afford medicines critical to their health care while these pharmaceutical companies get richer. I was glad to see Sen. Santorum defeated he was I think the biggest prize for dems to claim in the midterm election.

  2. 2
    Just Say No To BigPharma says:

    Has anyone noticed that CNN has become a hypocritical corporate drug pusher ? They have a bias against Cannabis (which is 100% non-lethal and far less addictive than the majority of drugs), yet they promote toxic pharmaceutical poisons, “ad nauseum”, 24 hrs./day.

    Research has proven that psychiatric poisons such as Paxil, Zoloft and Prozac VASTLY increase the risk of suicide, especially among young people, yet the Pharmaslutism goes on and on in a greedy, rampaging corporate frenzy, promoting the ingestion of toxic, synthetic, highly addictive pharmaceutical poisons, which are usually not even necessary.

    The only solution is to ban all pharma ads, and implement socialized medicine as found in Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Holland, France, Germany, Britain, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, etc. And all these countries actually have a HIGHER standard of living / quality of life, less national debt, less crime, less poverty, longer life expectancy than the US, so right-wing economic arguments must be instantly dismissed as bogus.

    Those countries have vibrant market economies, and the most socialized Scandinavian countries, repeatedly rank ahead of the US in economic competitivness rankings.

    Health care & education should be universal rights, not privileges of the rich.

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