Obama battles big pharma

From the Independent:

“We will lower drug costs by allowing the importation of safe medicines from other developed countries, increasing the use of generic drugs in public programmes and taking on drug companies that block cheaper generic medicines from the market.” The wording of President Obama’s healthcare policy could not be clearer and should send a shiver through the boardroom of every major pharmaceutical group in the world.

For some time, the big players in the drugs market have faced a simple problem. Treatments that the likes of Pfizer, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have spent years and millions of dollars developing are increasingly coming under threat from the generics companies, which invest nearly as much energy in challenging patents and developing cheaper alternatives. The established groups may consider the generics firms parasitical, but the likes of Barack Obama and the European Commission are tiring of the big beasts hiding behind patents ensuring that healthcare is more expensive to the ultimate user. (rest of article)

Promising beginning. I didn’t buy that Obama was in pharma’s pocket just because he got more donations from individuals who worked for pharmaceutical companies then McCain did. So let’s hope this is the beginning of some saner policy that ends up policing big pharma in big ways.

Hat tip: Seroxat Sufferers

6 thoughts on “Obama battles big pharma

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  1. The Big Pharma giant, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), has just announced a massive job cutting programme.

    GSK, Britain’s largest drug maker, plans to slash up to 10,000 jobs across the globe. GSK denies this has anything to do with the collapse of the global financial system. So maybe the job cuts are in direct response to the policy shift in Washington.

    The City of London press claims that GSK is axing jobs to increase competitiveness against the generic producers, which the Obama administration now favours.

    If there is a silver lining to the news of 10,000 job losses, it is that many of those facing the sack will be deeply disgruntled and ready to blow the whistle on their former employer.

    Those insiders will know exactly where the bodies are buried at GSK. And now is their chance to spill the beans on GSK, a rogue corporation that has tossed them mercilessly to the dogs amidst the darkest depression for generations.

    An appeal to GSK’s wannabe whistleblowers: let’s hear the low-down from the inside! The world demands documentary proof of GSK’s illegal practices!

    Tell us about the forged safety results on lethal drugs; the unethical medical experiments on orphaned third world kids and defenseless dementia sufferers. Let’s hear about the dirty money bribes to politicians, medics, journalists… Let’s hear it all!

    If I worked at GSK right now.. awaiting my P45 notice.. I would be busying the office photocopier, building up a secret dossier of damning evidence on this overtly fascist company..

    Top level GSK executives deserve to be behind bars. To make that happen requires irrefutable proof of their criminal wrongdoing…. The ex-GSK staffers owe that much to the world – to expose the wrongs of their former employer.

    Whistle-blowing on GSK’s criminal misconduct would doubtless save lives in the future. It was Louis Brandeis, a US supreme court judge who once said: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant”…

    And I might add: “Revenge is a dish best served cold!”


  2. oops,

    gianna, i just realize i brought this article about obama and pharma into agriculture, etc….sorry

    need to let other people respond to the original…got carried away and off-subject….thanks for posting the article,



  3. I never told you this, was a forestry major as a freshman…long before it was cool to be “environmental”…

    Started reading and learning about organic farming/gardening many years ago…

    Organic makes sense….There are so many ways we can take care of pests….only a very smalll percentage pose a threat to farming….many are benefiical…..Farming is much like taking care of our own bodies….building the soil….Met a PhD in soil management…used to spend a lot of time with him as a young man…..He explained that healthy crops grow out of healthy soil….

    So it is with our bodies….Proper nutrients yield good health….a good ‘crop’…..Why do we put the same petrochemicals on our crops that we use in industrial manufacturing….just because something is good at removing rust from a bolt, doesn’t mean it’s good to spary on what we eat!

    Again, a lot of this stuff is not rocket science….unfortunately, it’s not ‘agricultural science’ or ‘medical science’ either….It’s ‘political science’….

    It’s the study of money, and power, and influence…so much of it that we spray our food with petrochemicals….kinda crazy, huh?

    And hey, don’t ever try to figure me out politically….You’d never be able to do it anyway….My politics are like my spirit….you won’t put them in a box….or ever really figure them out! (I like it that way) Ha!



  4. I’m with you Duane…
    there was a really good video about the scary Monsanto dude who is running the agriculture department I was going to share with you, but it’s no longer there….



  5. “So let’s hope this is the beginning of some saner policy that ends up policing big pharma in big ways.”

    “Policing” – you got that word right…

    Teddy Roosevelt was a pretty pro-business type, who didn’t mind busting up monopolies….I think a person can govern who wants the best in medical care, and let pharma have it! Somebody needs to….

    I find it interesting that the conversations about health care invariably go to the subject of payment…..Who pays? Private insurance, single-payer, or a kind of quazi-controlled/reglated environment?….And, these heated debates have been going on since 1992….

    I say it might be good to ask ‘what’ first? WHAT kind of healthcare? I say we have crappy health care….Good if you get in an accident and need to go to the emergency room, but drugs don’t go far in maintaining health/wellness…..they only “manage illness”…..big deal….

    It’s hardly worth having an argument about who’s gonna pay….Better to have a discussion on how we can replace this broken model with a preventative care model – and holistic treatment….The costs would drop so significantly, that the subject of how to pay for it would be almost moot….

    I know our agricultural system needs to be part of that discusssion….We farm in ways that are not good for our health, and we produce “foods” that aren’t worth eating…processed junk that makes us sick, and keeps us sick…

    And, the pharma companies….I say if they go by the way-side…so be it. We can replace them with supplement companies that get the job done!




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