FDA medical adviser: 'Congress is owned by by pharma”

element252

Banned
Oct 30, 2017
719
https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/congress-big-pharma-money-123757664.html

Pharmaceutical companies are under the spotlight with congressional hearings on the cost of drug prices and allegations of the industry’s role in the opioid crisis.
Dr. Raeford Brown, a pediatric anesthesia specialist at the UK Kentucky Children’s Hospital and chair of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Committee on Analgesics and Anesthetics, has been openly critical of big pharma and the lack of proper oversight from the FDA.

Despite many politicians, particularly declared presidential candidates, beginning to speak out against big pharma, Brown does not think that anything will come out of it “because Congress is owned by pharma.”

“The pharmaceutical industry pours millions of dollars into the legislative branch every single year,” he told Yahoo Finance. “In 2016, they put $100 million into the elections. That’s a ton of money.”



OpenSecrets, a website operated by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, tracks money in U.S. politics. It ranked the top 20 members of the House and the Senate that have received the most campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical and health products industry during the 2017-2018 election cycle.

The website defines the industry as including “not only drug manufacturers but also dealers of medical products and nutritional and dietary supplements.”


During the ‘17-’18 election cycle, Kevin McCarthy, now the House minority leader after midterms, received the second-highest amount of funds in Congress. The California-based politician received a total of $380,350 in campaign contributions, with a large sum coming from pharma companies such as Abbott Laboratories (ABT), Pfizer (PFE), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Eli Lilly (LLY), Amgen (AMGN), and Merck (MRK).

“I’m really much more concerned because Congress is supposed to have oversight for the FDA,” Brown said. “If the FDA isn’t going to hold pharma accountable, and Congress is getting paid to not hold pharma accountable, then it really doesn’t matter who the president is because it’s really about Congress.”




Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the former speaker of the House, was ranked 10th among members of Congress. He received $222,070, seeing most of the funds coming from Merck.

Fourteen out of the top 20 recipients in the House were Republicans.

Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), a former congressman who almost upset Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in the 2018 midterms, was 18th on the list. O’Rourke, seen as a potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, received $171,255.

In the Senate, notable names include Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Hatch received $238,289 in donations, with Merck being the biggest donor among manufacturing companies. McConnell, ranked 12th among senators on the list, received $149,113, with Eli Lilly being the prevailing big pharma company.

Fifteen out of the top 20 recipients in the Senate were Democrats.

Gillibrand, a Democratic candidate for president in the 2020 election, was ranked 11th on the list.

Over half of the big pharma money she received during the 2017-2018 cycle came from Pfizer, with Amgen, AbbVie (ABBV), and Johnson & Johnson also in the mix.

Overall, she received a total of $151,197 from the pharmaceutical/health product industry.
Gillibrand announced in February 2019 that she and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-O.H.) were introducing legislation that would “penalize pharmaceutical companies believed to be engaging in price gouging without cause, leading to price spikes for patients who rely on medication to treat diseases ranging from cancer to addiction.”

Minnesota senator and Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has repeatedly stated in public appearances that she will not be bought by big pharma.

“In Minnesota and across the country, no place has been immune from the devastating effects of opioid abuse,” Sen. Klobuchar said in a statement to Yahoo Finance. “In my state, deaths from prescription drug abuse now claims the lives of more Minnesotans than homicides or car crashes. We need to continue to work together to tackle the scourge of opioid addiction that continues to take lives each day.”

At the same time, thanks to the U.S. campaign finance system, Klobuchar has also received money from some of the companies contributing to the opioid epidemic.

According to OpenSecrets, Klobuchar received $65,491 in campaign funds during the 2017-2018 election cycle, with $8,500 coming from pharmaceutical companies. Abbott Laboratories was her biggest pharma donor at $8,000.



Purdue Pharma is one company that has come under fire as of late, as it faces roughly 2,000 lawsuits, including one by the state of Massachusetts that alleged that it “created the [opioid] epidemic and profited from it through a web of illegal deceit.”

Although Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) isn’t among the top 20 senators in big pharma money, he did receive the largest sum of donations from Purdue in the 2017-2018 election cycle, a total of $6,000. Since 2007, Purdue has contributed $170,250 to his campaigns, according to Kaiser Health News.

As a result of the lawsuits, Purdue Pharma is exploring filing for bankruptcy. Filing for Chapter 11 protection “would halt the lawsuits and allow Purdue to negotiate legal claims with plaintiffs under the supervision of a U.S. bankruptcy judge,” Reuters reported this month.

The lawsuit is only one part of the massive opioid epidemic plaguing the country, which Brown said derives from the pharmaceutical industry’s desire to make a profit.

“If we don’t change the regulatory process for opioids, it will happen again,” Brown said.
 

RoninChaos

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,264
Congress is for corporations, not people. All they’re doing is writing laws and legislation to make themselves and corporations richer. It’s rigged against the average American but half our country still votes these dumb fucks in.
 

Sinfamy

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,724
Congress is owned by the pharmaceutical industry, the military industrial complex, the oil and gas industry, the gun manufacturers, and Israel.
Baby girls, our Democracy has been compromised for over 40 years.
 

shira

Community Resetter
Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,694
>Orrin Hatch

When that dude is on the list you know it's a bad list.

>Beto

whelp
 
Oct 27, 2017
6,832
The American government is for corporations, not people. All they’re doing is writing laws and legislation to make themselves and corporations richer. It’s rigged against the average American but half our country still votes these dumb fucks in.
ftfy, but no shit to the medical advisor. Ignore you don’t realize the government’s true constituents are corporations and the wealthy then you’re a fucking moron.
 
Oct 28, 2017
15,247
Our political system really makes me sick sometimes. Though if people actually cared we could solve the problem without Comgress buy in.
 

Daria

Member
Oct 25, 2017
764
Twilight Zone
I don't think it's that they don't care. It's they don't know what's going on to care about it, they feel powerless and/or are confused about how to fix it.
Someone on twitter recently made a good point about this re: protesting these issues. In today’s world, when there is awareness brought to the issue, it seems the next step is to mobilize and protest. This in itself helps but it does not continue to push for a solution, it is merely a temporary awareness march. To really gain momentum to attempt to change anything, people must also be able to organize and remain there. Within that organization, we can have people bringing awareness to the community about issues at hand; we can send people to representatives offices for meetings; we can continue to bring in others into the organization.
 

kickz

Member
Nov 3, 2017
8,723
How do they represent the interest of their voters, if they can be bought off??

This system is fucking flawed to hell
 

Ichthyosaurus

Member
Dec 26, 2018
8,281
Someone on twitter recently made a good point about this re: protesting these issues. In today’s world, when there is awareness brought to the issue, it seems the next step is to mobilize and protest. This in itself helps but it does not continue to push for a solution, it is merely a temporary awareness march. To really gain momentum to attempt to change anything, people must also be able to organize and remain there. Within that organization, we can have people bringing awareness to the community about issues at hand; we can send people to representatives offices for meetings; we can continue to bring in others into the organization.
Protest helps with getting the message across, which is dearly needed. However, that in itself is not going to stop it. It's what to do next which is the real issue. I like your ideas about sending people to meetings with politicians. But more needs to done not only on the government level but the corporate side. They need to be hurt financially and their reach severed.
 

saenima

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,800
It's like No Shit News everyday now.

Also this:

Congress is owned by any group with deep pockets that wants to buy influence.
It's not a big pharma problem, it's the whole system that's broken and corrupted. Big pharma today, NRA tomorrow, tech the next day, fossil fuels next week. Politicians are the less discriminating prostitutes in existence.
 

GiantBreadbug

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,247
Iitate-mura, Japan
Pretty jarring to hear an FDA medical adviser come out and say it this strongly. Not that anything will come of it.

Something something political reality something something pragmatism

The system perpetuates itself on the idea that it can never be changed meaningfully, or maybe it can only be changed in half-measures that amount to steps sideways rather than forward.
 

Yoshimitsu126

The Fallen
Nov 11, 2017
4,353
United States
Wow I went out of state to study pre-pharm at Purdue. Ended up coming back to Cali to switch majors. But they took my out of state tuition....

OH GOD I HELPED THEM.
 

HommePomme

Member
Oct 30, 2017
365
Public, legal bribery against the best interests of the country. Actually insane this is, and has been, an accepted part of politics
 

Harp

Member
Oct 27, 2017
753
I'm somewhat optimistic that social media and the upcoming voter bases will at least help to combat the advantage that money buys in campaigning. I know social media has been around in its current form for a while now, but the young voters growing up with it are exposed to the world in radically different ways than the people using facebook in 2010 were. In times now past, campaign contributions let you buy bigger, better, and more ads (and attack ads), and while that's still the case, it seems easier for candidates to get grass roots support rolling with less money via the internet and social media, which seems to have much greater reach with the incoming voters than TV and newspaper ads.

But then, maybe I'm underestimating the reach that older platforms still have, as well as the influence that money buys online.

But I remain optimistic. I don't think AOC would have gotten as far in 2010 as she did in 2019, and I think that's a good sign that we'll see a lot more younger political folks like her come up with support that didn't cost millions of pharma/tech/power money, leaving them more accountable to their constituents than their doners.
 

Mona

Member
Oct 30, 2017
15,382
you're a god damn ignoramus if this is new information to you

people elect the politician that is on the TV
the politician gets on the TV by using money given to them by richies
richies give the money to the politician to get on TV with the expectation that the politician will help them out in the future
 
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Suiko

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,739
People do realize this is donations from people working in those industries right?
Are we going to be refusing donations from a guy who works in IT at a Pharmacy?
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,974
People do realize this is donations from people working in those industries right?
Are we going to be refusing donations from a guy who works in IT at a Pharmacy?
So why are they so concentrated in some specific people, like Donnelly and McCaskill?

Do pharmacy workers just love McCaskill?

Are Indiana and Missouri just heavy pharmaceutical states?
 

Wilsongt

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,149
I think this deserves a Kirk meme image with how obvious it is.

Also, Express Scripts is a garbage company.
 

Suiko

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,739
So why are they so concentrated in some specific people, like Donnelly and McCaskill?

Do pharmacy workers just love McCaskill?

Are Indiana and Missouri just heavy pharmaceutical states?
That's ultimately the problem with playing this 'game' with Federally Capped donations.
Why does your choice of employment directly matter to who you want to win an election?
How do you pick and choose who is OK to donate?

These are the capped donations we are talking about, not the SuperPAC bullshit.
 
Oct 28, 2017
4,690
So why are they so concentrated in some specific people, like Donnelly and McCaskill?

Do pharmacy workers just love McCaskill?

Are Indiana and Missouri just heavy pharmaceutical states?
He's not saying there's not corruption here. He's saying you can't stop it. You can't say "People with Microsoft cannot donate to this campaign because too many Microsoft employees already have."
 

Suiko

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,739
He's not saying there's not corruption here. He's saying you can't stop it. You can't say "People with Microsoft cannot donate to this campaign because too many Microsoft employees already have."
Yes, these are distraction to the real issue of "SuperPACs" which allow people to donate unlimited amounts of money, anonymously. (Hence why we are not talking about it, there is no face to the donations)
We should get that under control by required disclosures first, then worry about these capped donations.
 

NihonTiger

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,498
Out of the top 20 senators, five are already gone due to being defeated in 2018 (Heitkamp, Donnelly, McCaskill, Heller) or retirement (Hatch), so I'd be curious to see who's moved up to replace them. Presumably, Sinema would be one since she's on the House list.

So why are they so concentrated in some specific people, like Donnelly and McCaskill?

Do pharmacy workers just love McCaskill?

Are Indiana and Missouri just heavy pharmaceutical states?
Indiana is for sure. Eli Lilly is based in Indianapolis, and I'm sure they made up the bulk of Donnelly's donations.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,974
That's ultimately the problem with playing this 'game' with Federally Capped donations.
Why does your choice of employment directly matter to who you want to win an election?
How do you pick and choose who is OK to donate?

These are the capped donations we are talking about, not the SuperPAC bullshit.
Unfortunately OpenSecrets doesn't break down SuperPACs by industry, presumably because it's technically against the rules to be a SuperPAC for a specific industry. This is an expose by the FDA chief, who's going to talk about things within his realm of expertise.

He's not saying there's not corruption here. He's saying you can't stop it. You can't say "People with Microsoft cannot donate to this campaign because too many Microsoft employees already have."
Why not?
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,671
This is why I'm hoping for Bernie to win. I dunno if he'll actually follow through, but he's at least talking about what a shitshow citizens united is, unlike other candidates.
 

Piggus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,745
Ashland, Oregon
So ashamed to be “represented” by that dick nibbler Greg Walden. The piece of shit claims repeatedly to be fighting the opioid crisis, but he was literally front and center standing next to Trump when they were hellbent on repealing Obamacare. He’s also in full favor of repealing net neutrality while simultaneously taking hundreds of thousands from major ISPs. Fucking prick.
 

Suiko

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,739
Unfortunately OpenSecrets doesn't break down SuperPACs by industry, presumably because it's technically against the rules to be a SuperPAC for a specific industry. This is an expose by the FDA chief, who's going to talk about things within his realm of expertise.
The reason why they don't break down SuperPACs is there is barely any disclosure requirements for most of them.
I don't think there is any rule against a SuperPAC for industries either, I swear I've heard of multiple.
But, I know you can structure them so it's all secret, but i'm not an expert on limitations on doing so.