Tag Archives: Big Pharma

Koch-Funded Hit Piece Backfires: Shows Medicare for All Would Save ‘Whopping $2 Trillion’ Over Ten Years While Covering Everybody

“If every major country on Earth can guarantee healthcare to all, and achieve better health outcomes, while spending substantially less per capita than we do, it is absurd for anyone to suggest that the United States cannot do the same.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-30-2018

If the billionaire Koch brothers really want to undermine the economic case for Medicare for All, they have a funny way of showing it.

Judging by the headlines alone, it would appear that the newly published study projecting that Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) widely popular Medicare for All plan would cost $32.6 trillion over the next decade was conducted by an official, neutral body seeking the facts, not pushing an agenda.

Read a bit further, though, and you’ll discover that the analysis—released Monday morning—was produced by the George Mason University-based Mercatus Center, which has received millions of dollars in funding from the right-wing billionaires Charles and David Koch, who have previously expressed support for abolishing Medicare and Medicaid entirely. Continue reading

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Rebuking Industry-Friendly Trump Plan, Doctors Offer Blueprint to Confront ‘Greed of Big Pharma’

“The outrageous cost of prescription drugs in this country is a crisis that the American people feel every day. There are real solutions we can implement that we know will lower drug prices and save lives.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-17-2018

After President Donald Trump conclusively demonstrated last week that he is unwilling to take on the pharmaceutical industry and has no “legitimate plan” to lower drug prices, a group of 21 American and Canadian doctors on Thursday unveiled an ambitious plan that—unlike Trump’s “pharma-friendly” approach—would confront the drug industry and ensure the healthcare systems of both nations place the public good over private profit.

“Through a series of commonsense reforms, we can increase the affordability, safety, and effectiveness of medicine for our patients,” Dr. Adam Gaffney, co-chair of the Pharmaceutical Reform Working Group and one of the authors of the new plan, said in a statement. “Our pharmaceutical system prioritizes industry profits over public health, but it doesn’t have to be this way.” Continue reading

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After Drug Plan Shows Trump ‘Will Do Nothing About Their Greed,’ Big Pharma Stocks Soar

“When big pharmaceutical companies’ stocks spike during your big reveal on lowering prices, you’re doing something wrong.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-11-2018

“Don’t be fooled: President Trump and his administration are bought and paid for by Big Pharma,” Brad Woodhouse, campaign director of Protect Our Care, said in a statement. (Photo: Jeannie Baumann/Twitter)

In a strong indication that investors and major pharmaceutical companies know President Donald Trump’s newly unveiled drug plan “will do nothing to rein in their greed,” Big Pharma stocks soared on Friday as Trump delivered a brief and extremely vague speech promising to lower drug costs that critics called a “cover-up for the sweetheart deal” he’s offering America’s price-gouging drugmakers.


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‘No One Should Be Fooled’: Warren Rips Trump’s HHS Pick Over Desire to Gut Medicaid

“You want to smile and pretend otherwise until you get the job,” Warren said.

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 1-9-2018

Alex Azar. Screenshot: YouTube

While President Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services (HHS) nominee Alex Azar—a former pharma executive—spent most of his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday ducking and dodging pointed questions about his long history of “price gouging,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) decided to call Azar out on his support for gutting Medicaid and turning the program into a block grant.

After Azar suggested he supports block granting Medicaid as a “concept to look at” but refused to say whether he would move in that direction if confirmed, Warren said, “Mr. Azar, you can own up to the fact that you want to cut Medicaid and gut the Affordable Care Act, like every other member of the Trump administration.”

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FDA Raids in Florida Suggest Trump Admin. Policy Change That Benefits Big Pharma

News of the raids follows the president’s nomination of a former drug company executive to serve as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 11-20-2017

Raids by federal agents in Florida suggest a policy shift that will make it more difficult for Americans to access low-cost prescription medications. (Photo: Chris Potter/ccPix.com/Flickr/cc)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) raided nine stores in Central Florida that assist customers with placing orders for low-cost prescription drugs from Canada and other countries, Kaiser Health News reported Monday, suggesting a shift away from a long-standing policy that benefited consumers but was strongly condemned by the pharmaceutical industry.

“The storefronts primarily serve seniors who prefer in-person assistance with buying medicines from Canada and other countries, rather than using an internet site,” Kaiser reports. Bill Hepscher, co-owner of six of the stores raided last month, estimates his business serves about 10,000 people a year, and that Florida has about 20 stores similar to his. His stores are located around Tampa Bay and Orlando. Continue reading

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Top 5 Stories You Missed in 2016 While Everyone Mourned Dead Celebrities

By Jake Anderson. Published 1-3-2017 by The Anti-Media

Photo: Chris Barker

First of all, let me confess that I shed some tears when David Bowie died. I know all 20+ of his albums by heart, and it felt like a piece of my childhood had disappeared. A few years ago, when Philip Seymour Hoffman died, I also cried. It’s a strange emotional symbiosis that occurs when you mourn for a deceased celebrity, and the point of this article is not to cast aspersions. However, 2016 has basically become known as the year a bunch of celebrities died, so there’s no better time to assess the phenomenon (and make sure it doesn’t distract us from other issues).

Over Christmas weekend, millions of people mourned the loss of George Michael and Carrie Fisher. They were advocates for gay rights and mental illness, respectively, and the nation reeled from the passing of two beloved iconic figures. Earlier this year, music legend Prince passed away, devastating tens of millions of fans for whom the musician represented everything from their adolescence in the 1980s to political statements of gender-bending. The list of celebrities who died in 2016 is extensive and, for some, unnerving. Continue reading

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As Flint Suffers, Big Pharma Slammed for Lead Poison Drug Price Hike of 2,700%

Drug company Valeant described as ‘poster child for pharmaceutical greed’

By Nadia Prupis, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-14-2016

"While kids in Flint are poisoned by lead, Valeant charges $27,000 for the leading treatment," Sanders wrote. (Photo: Partha S. Sahana/flickr/cc)

“While kids in Flint are poisoned by lead, Valeant charges $27,000 for the leading treatment,” Sanders wrote. (Photo: Partha S. Sahana/flickr/cc)

Outrage is growing this week amid revelations that the pharmaceutical company Valeant raised the price for its critical lead-poisoning treatment by more than 2,700 percent in a single year.

Before Valeant took control of the medication, known as Calcium EDTA, in 2013, the average price for a package of vials was stable at $950, the medical news outlet STAT reported. But once the notorious pharmaceutical company bought it out in a multi-billion dollar deal, it swiftly boosted the price to $7,116 in January 2014 and to $26,927 by December of that year. Continue reading

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Transforming the poverty industry

When governments place maximizing revenue over serving those in need, the vulnerable are harmed. And when the vulnerable are harmed, so are we all.

By Daniel L. Hatcher. Published 6-21-2016 by openDemocracy

openDemocracy oD-UK oDR oD 50.50 Transformation Activism Economics Intersectionality Nonviolence Culture Love and Spirit Environment Care OurBeeb More Transforming the poverty industry DANIEL L. HATCHER 21 June 2016 When governments place maximizing revenue over serving those in need, the vulnerable are harmed. And when the vulnerable are harmed, so are we all. Headquarters of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington DC. Credit: Wikimedia/Matthew G. Bisanz, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Headquarters of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington DC. Credit: Wikimedia/Matthew G. Bisanz, CC BY-SA 3.0.

In an effort to shore-up its budget, New Jersey is taking federal government assistance away from school children from poor families. The state has hired a private contractor called the Public Consulting Group to access more school-based federal Medicaid funds. This money is intended to help schools serve special education needs more effectively, but New Jersey has diverted over 80 percent of the funds to its general coffers for other uses—effectively taking tens of millions of dollars from school children every year. Meanwhile, in the face of insufficient funding, schools in the state have resorted to selling ads on school buses. Continue reading

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Big Pharma Exposed for Knowingly Causing Opioid Epidemic, Ushering in a Heroin Nightmare

By Claire Bernish. Published 5-6-2016 by The Free Thought Project

Photo: Iowa DPS

Photo: Iowa DPS

Big Pharma created the legal opiate addiction epidemic and its outgrowth, rampant heroin abuse, because pharmaceutical corporations’ own addiction to profit arguably trumps any concern it may have had for patients. Though the accusation may seem harsh, the evidence has never been more apparent thanks to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times — which presents a scathing condemnation of the company behind the notorious painkiller, OxyContin.

Two decades ago, Purdue Pharma began marketing OxyContin — a chemical cousin to heroin — with the claim its 12-hour “smooth and sustained” dosing would revolutionize the treatment of pain. However, the claim is not only problematic in that its duration is often hours less than promised — leading patients to experience symptoms of withdrawal — but Purdue knew that before the painkiller ever hit the market. Continue reading

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Sanders Puts Block on Obama’s Big Pharma Nominee for FDA

‘We need someone who will work to substantially lower drug prices, implement rules to safely import brand-name drugs from Canada and hold companies accountable who defraud our government.’

By Nadia Prupis, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 1-26-2016

Bernie Sanders joined two other senators in blocking Obama's nomination for FDA chief. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/cc)

Bernie Sanders joined two other senators in blocking Obama’s nomination for FDA chief. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/cc)

Senator Bernie Sanders put a hold on President Barack Obama’s nominee to take over the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday, joining with two other senators who have also objected to Dr. Robert M. Califf’s nomination, citing his ties to corporate drug manufacturers.

“Dr. Califf’s extensive ties to the pharmaceutical industry give me no reason to believe that he would make the FDA work for ordinary Americans, rather than just the CEOs of pharmaceutical companies,” Sanders said in a statement on Tuesday. “We need someone who will work to substantially lower drug prices, implement rules to safely import brand-name drugs from Canada and hold companies accountable who defraud our government.” Continue reading

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