Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Big Pharma’s big bribes

Posted By on Tue, Jul 22, 2008 at 12:40 PM

Caution: side effects of reading this may include vomiting and depression. High blood pressure sufferers, do not read the rest of this blog entry, especially if you're also paying for blood pressure medicine. If you think big pharmaceutical companies are in cahoots with Congressional crooks, a new report shows that you're absolutely right. The report from the Center for Public Integrity shows that the drug industry, which is the largest lobby in Washington, spent more than $189 million on lobbying last year — nearly three times what they spent 10 years ago. CPI's report, "Pushing Prescriptions," shows that the pharmaceutical lobby increased its campaign contributions, aka "bribes," to Democrats since they took control of Congress last year. As Heather Gehlert of AlterNet reports, the bribes seem to have worked. The drug approval process has been speeded up (making the companies "more competitive," while reducing public protection against unsafe drugs), while delaying the introduction of generic drugs into the market and increasing the number of direct-to-consumer drug ads we're subjected to. You can read the report here.

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