In 2003, Congress passed the Medicare Modernization Act, which added a prescription drug benefit to Medicare. With Medicare buying prescription drugs in huge numbers, one would think that the health insurance program could negotiate with the pharmaceutical companies to get a discount for buying in bulk. Thatś what other insurance companies would do. But Congress inserted a provision into the law that banned Medicare from negotiating drug prices. Republican Congressman Walter Jones of North Carolina told 60 minutes, "The pharmaceutical lobbyists wrote the bill.¨ His Democratic colleague John Dingell agreed,...And just a few months after the 2003 law was passed, the chairman of the House committee responsible for the bill quit is job in Congress to become head of the pharmaceutical industry, with a salary of $2 million a year. The Crisis Of The Middle-Class Constitution, Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic: Ganesh Sitaraman pg 257

Remember how imports from Canada were popular and how the drug companies said that those imports were unsafe ? Well, the problem was solved with Medicare part D. It was simply really, Medicare Part D does not reimburse imports from Canada. See how the wonders of the free market can take care of problems ? After that, Pfizer decided to shut down production in the US and move it to India. After the problems with heparin, the Congress held hearings to determine what could be done to be sure that drugs remain safe when imported. Now the FDA will need to periodically inspect the Asian drug manufacturing plants. Pfizer privatized profits from going offshore, eliminated expensive US workers, dodged those pesky environmental regulations, and passed the inspection costs on to the taxpayer.

Patients Eagerly Awaited a Generic Drug. Then They Saw the Price. (2/23/2018)

Sanders: Trump's HHS Pick Proves He Was 'Never Serious' About Taking on Big Pharma (11/13/2017)

How Big Pharma Secretly Funds The Fight To Keep Drug Prices High (8/28/2017)

how to take out CNN with a single signature (4/20/2017)

A drug company hiked the price of a lifesaving opioid overdose antidote by 500 percent Where’s the outrage? (2/3/2017)

"Direct to Consumer advertising by drug companies is outlawed in every country except The USA and NZ. There are countless "Ask Your Doctor" commercials on TV, but only in America (and NZ) is this marketing practice approved legally. Why and how has the Rx industry's lobby been so successful with this?" Quora
The pharmaceutical industry, for example, has used its lobbying heft — it spent $272,000 in campaign donations per member of Congress last year, and it has more lobbyists than there are members of Congress — to bar the government from bargaining for drug prices in Medicare. That amounts to a $50 billion annual gift to pharmaceutical companies." Nicholas Kristof NYT
"The fact that Medicare is forbidden in the law that created Medicare Part D to negotiate lower prices is no accident. The drug lobby worked hard to ensure Medicare wouldn’t be allowed to cut into the profits which would flow to big Pharma thanks to millions of new customers delivered to them by Part D. Even some Republican House members (this was a GOP sponsored bill), including Rep. Walter Jones from North Carolina and Rep. Dan Burton from Indiana, were aghast at the whole process: NCPSSM
"...Bush's plan (for the drug companies at least guarantees drug companies retail prices for wholesale purchases. The law bars the government from negotiating for better prices from the drug companies. Thus, while the government is not permitted to use its market power to get lower prices from the drug companies, the drug companies are permitted to use their (government granted) market power (from patents) to demand whatever price they want from us. " Lawrence Lessig: Republic, Lost.
"I was the first member of Congress to take people over the Canadian border to buy prescription drugs. We are told that it is OK to bring in lettuce and tomatoes from unregulated farms in Mexico. That is not a problem. But we cannot safely bring brand-name drugs from the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world across the Canadian border. That is the most absurd situation I have ever seen. That only speaks to the power of the drug industry. I have described the pharmaceutical industry as like Rocky Marciano. You know who Rocky Marciano is? Undefeated. They never lose. And the result is we pay by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs – one out of five people can't afford prescription drugs." Senator Bernie Sanders

Big Pharma Spent Nearly $1 Billion to Lobby US (9/22/2016)

Pharma lobbying held deep influence over opioid policies

Children Are Dying from Pneumonia, but Greed Is the Real Killer (3/4/2016)

Everyone Hates Martin Shkreli. Everyone Is Missing the Point (2/5/2016)

Big Pharma Must Think We're Stupid (1/15/2016)

How Pfizer Rips All of Us Off on a Mindblowing Scale (12/3/2015)

Why are we paying for corporate behavior that crushes innovation, cheats taxpayers, cost jobs, and heightens inequality?

How Big Pharma Could Lose The War On Disease (12/2/2015)

AMA Calls for Ban on Direct to Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs and Medical Devices (11/17/2015)

End the Great American Drug Heist (9/3/2015)

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (2/8/2015)

The Evils of Big Pharma Exposed (1/18/2015)

Find Out if Your Doctor is Getting Paid for your Prescriptions

Why We allow Big Pharma to Rip Us Off (10/6/2014)

How Big Pharma is KIlling Americans (4/29/2013)

No Money for Medicine ? Go Away and Die. (3/19/2013)

Fiscal Cliff Bill Benefits Amgen (1/20/2013)

Obamacare Architect returns to Pharma industry job (12/18/2012)

Pharmaceutical Industry Criminal and Civil Penalties (9/27/2012)

Pharmaceutical Companies Spent 19 Times More On Self-Promotion Than Basic Research: Report (8/9/2012)

Grover Norquist Explains Taking Pharma Money (6/26/2012)

Ex Pharma Sales Rep Speaks the Truth

Pfizer Awarded "Excellence in Profiteering"  (2/29/2012)

Drug firms 'drove swine flu pandemic warning to recoup £billions spent on research'

Both patent and copyright protection have led to increasing inefficiencies and abuses in recent years, exactly the effects that economists would predict from government-granted monopolies. Drug patents have been especially problematic. Because drug companies stand to make such enormous profits from patented drugs, there is a continuous stream of scandals involving efforts to conceal negative research findings, to falsely tout the benefits of specific drugs, and payoffs to experts, regulators, and politicians. In addition, drug patents lead to drugs being priced at levels that make them unaffordable for much of the population in the United States and around the world. While drugs are almost invariably cheap to manufacture, and therefore would sell for a low price in a competitive market, patent monopolies allow drug companies to sell life-saving drugs for thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars per prescription. From the Conservative Nanny State.

Medicare Drug legislation tied to Abramoff. A proposal for prescription drug reform.

You should know about Billy Tauzin also.

The World Health Organization said it plans to conduct a review of
its response to swine flu as policymakers in Europe prepare for an
urgent debate on the influenza pandemic. Yesterday, the Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council of Europe said false pandemics, a threat
to health will be a major theme of its next plenary session. Health
authorities worldwide are assessing whether their response to swine
flu is justified by its threat as cases retreat in the U.S. and
Western Europe. The new H1N1 virus, which has targeted children and
younger adults, has so far resulted in fewer deaths than attributed
to seasonal strains, which kills mostly the frail elderly. Council
of Europe parliamentarian Wolfgang Wodarg said last week he and
several colleagues had called for a commission of inquiry into a
false pandemic and the way it was handled at national and European
levels, claiming pressure from pharmaceutical firms. The WHO moved
to the top level of its six-step pandemic alert in June after the
discovery of swine flu in Mexico and the U.S. in April.

Note: BusinessWeek deleted this article days after posting it. Could
someone have pressured them to do this? If you click the above link,
the article is gone, though you can still see a promo
and read it on BusinessWeek in the Google cache available
For a link to the article on the Bloomberg website, click
here<>. For
revealing reports of the corruption surrounding the swine flu and
previous health scares, click here<>.

Huffington Post on Pharma

Pharma Shuts Down Healthcare Debate

Gwen Olsen


About the H1N1 Vaccine (video. about 6 minutes.)

A Brief History of mandatory vaccinations in the US.

Legal Assault Kit


Bad Pharma: Ben Goldacre

Deadly Medicine: Barlett and Steele

When Experiments Travel: Adriana Petryna

Pharmaceutical Giant Paid $500,000 to Psychiatrist Who Used Chicago's Poor as Guinea Pigs  

Pharmaceutical Giant Paid $500,000 to Psychiatrist Who Used Chicago's Poor as Guinea Pigs

Dr. Michael Reinstein reaped a cool half million off his patients' misery. more »