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Confronting Pharma Greed That Is 'Literally Killing People,' Sanders and Khanna Unveil Bills to Lower Drug Prices


#1

Confronting Pharma Greed That Is 'Literally Killing People,' Sanders and Khanna Unveil Bills to Lower Drug Prices

Jake Johnson, staff writer

Confronting the rampant and deadly greed of the pharmaceutical industry, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) joined Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), and several other Democratic lawmakers on Thursday to introduce a package of legislation aimed at dramatically reducing the nation's sky-high prescription drug prices.


#2

Progressive taxation works. Big Pharma bosses need to know who their boss really is:


#3

Since the vast majority of pharmaceutical research is publicly-financed and since about two-thirds of U.S. medical expenditures (including drugs – many of which are horrific and highly-addictive) are tax-financed through Medicare, Medicaid and other public programs, it is long past time to say clearly that health-care is a HUMAN RIGHT.

The entire health care/health insurance industry must be nationalized and restructured and democratized so that human health is at the center of it, not for-profit corporations. This is not a matter of the greed of a few mega corporations, but that the capitalist system institutionalizes greed in terms of profits.

Bernie, Kahanna and other progressives need to be forthright and say these things directly. While these reforms are improvements, corporations will simply find ways to use them as subsidies to their already obscene profits.

Bernie would be better off withdrawing S.1804 and replacing it with a companion bill to HR 676. Kahanna would be better off protecting the integrity of HR 676, rather than letting Jayapal/Pelosi, et. al. turn it into S. 1804 - or worse.

Both would be better off taking some time to look at the role of pharmaceuticals in the Medical/Industrial Complex and how they are used to addict the U.S. and global populations. They should be talking about the massive over-prescription of depressants, the opioid epidemic, the meth epidemic, etc. They should be talking about healthy living, alternatives to manufactured drugs, etc.They should be talking about jailing drug company executives and doctors as drug dealers.

So lower drug prices are good (with a lot of footnotes). Hell, lower prices on most things are good. We’re fucking suffering under austerity in this global neoliberal empire.

But until progressives actually raise issues like nationalizing health care, education, infrastructure etc., they are nibbling at the crusts of a Tweet sandwich.


#4

Add to that the problems with anti-biotics - this from the CDC

Key U.S. Statistics

Below are a number of statistics that help describe how antibiotics are currently being prescribed in outpatient settings in the United States and how these practices are contributing to the larger issue of antibiotic resistance.

  • At least 30% of antibiotics prescribed in the outpatient setting are unnecessary, meaning that no antibiotic was needed at all.2
  • Total inappropriate antibiotic use, inclusive of unnecessary use and inappropriate selection, dosing and duration, may approach 50% of all outpatient antibiotic use.3,4,5
  • Antibiotic prescribing in the outpatient setting varies by state.1
  • Performance on quality measures for appropriate outpatient antibiotic prescribing varies both by region and health plan.6
  • Local outpatient prescribing practices contribute to local resistance patterns.7
  • Outpatient antibiotic prescribing is greatest in the winter months.8
  • The majority (>60%) of antibiotic expenditures are associated with the outpatient setting.9
  • An estimated 80-90% of the volume of human antibiotic use occurs in the outpatient setting.10,11
  • Azithromycin and amoxicillin are among the most commonly prescribed antibiotics.1

#5

Drug Companies in the USA spend twice on much on Sales and Marketing on average then they do on R and D. Most other Countries, including Canada , restrict such advertising.

These sales and marketing costs also had to the high price of drugs. The Direct to Consumer advertising serves no purpose other then to increase “demand” and that demand often for a drug that an individual does not really need.


#6

That might be a little extreme, but certainly the entire Health Care Industry – especially the Pharmaceutical Companies – should be regulated as a PUBLIC UTILITY.

AMEN!!


#7

My sixtysomething friends who have been taking “prescription medications” (as the pharma industrial complex calls them) are now experiencing all those horrible side effects that the labels warn you about…and then some.

During the 70s chloroquinine was the only malaria preventative I needed to take when I traveled in the tropics. I had no ill effects. During the 80s they told me to also take a Fansidar pill once a week. Every Tuesday night after taking that pill I would have LSD-like hallucinations. When I returned home and stopped the Fansidar I got sick and was diagnosed with hardening of the liver. Being 33 years old I was able to do a cleansing that within one year got me back to normal. I decided that I do not need to travel in the tropics and realized that as I got older my body would be even more damaged by heavy duty medications so I find other ways to cure what ails me and avoid cures that are worse than the disease.

Sad to say that even though Fansidar is no longer used as a malaria preventative, it continues to be used for other purposes.

One challenge has been that Medicare doesn’t cover natureopathic medicene or acupuncture, both viable avenues that reduce the need for drugs. To add insult to injury Medicare penalizes you if you don’t pay monthly extortion for part D prescription drug coverage even if you don’t use prescriptions. Big pharma has got you coming and going.


#8

Now we’ll see which Congress people come out fighting these bills. Center stage - Nancy.


#9

Correction: Khanna


#10

There are natural remedies for alot of diseases but main stream will not let you know about it. first of all exercise diet and drinking water. It is all about making $$$$ . Why when we watch t.v. do I need to ask my dr. about this drug or that drug w all the side effects including may cause cancer–. You can never sue the drug companies.


#11

Pelosi and her stooges will water down(board?) this legislation until it is useless.


#12

It is estimated that 90% of all heart disease (the #1 killer in the US) is preventable.


#13

Allow me to add to you’re informative post. There’s another common problem with prescription medications that rarely gets mentioned, what I call mixing. It’s the sometimes deadly effect of prescribed drugs that have harmful interactions with each other, sometimes even unknown to the physicians prescribing them. This effect becomes more common with elderly patients, who are generally prescribed more meds as they age. Diligent pharmacists do their best to eliminate these dangerous interactions, but sometimes it would take hours of research to find all of the problems with different meds, the research time growing as more and more meds are added to the patients list.


#14

In the US alone, reliable estimates of deaths due to FDA-approved drugs, prescribed by licensed physicians and dispensed by licensed pharmacists, are on the order of 300,000 annually.

And here are two words, commonly associated in patient charts with diseases, injuries and infections, that should be much better known among the general public: iatrogenic ("doctor-caused’) and nosocomial (“acquired in the hospital”).


#15

You may already know this, but if not, might be interested. There is a natural food (besides weed) that has been proven to kill certain cancer cells, B-17, it’s not legal in the US or Canada, but is found in the seeds of pitted fruits (most abundant in apricot seeds). If interested, google it and search on YouTube (there are many videos about it, explaining the history and why it’s illegal in the US).


#16

Thanks, it’s always good when you learn something new.


#17

Like everything else going on in our country, reason has been on vacation. Greed is allowed to hold the high hand. All of the things congress refuses to treat seriously, seem to need a protest march to make people aware.
We need to (as many times as it takes) load as many buses as we can and convoy to Canada to purchase whatever drugs we can. Let Canadian pharma know when we are coming so enough product is on hand. A peoples revolt is the only thing that has a chance of working.


#18

I saw that when I worked in Mazatlan, Mexico. When my Mother came to visit me. She got a prescription a drug to take in case she got sick, for around $40.00 and when she arrived she wanted to get some extra medicine so I took her to the local pharmacy and to her surprise she got the same drug over the counter and did not need a prescription…but what really shocked her was the price of $4.00!


#19

This is music to the ears of many of us. Thanks, Tom!


#20

Gio:

I’m basically tone deaf. Never could sing or play music – which, of course I always wanted to do. Be a rock-n-roll star and all that. Sometimes I think most of my comments are tone deaf as well. Thanks for hearing a tune with this one.

Solidarity,

Tom