You really have to spend a few minutes to watch this video clip from CBS’ 60 Minutes programme.
I could not believe the dirty tricks that were used to gain passage of Pharma’s biggest profit windfall: the Medicare Prescription bill which forbids price negotiations.
Congressman Walter Jones, a Republican from North Carolina who along with Dan Burton, a Republican from Indiana, tried but failed to prevent the stampede. Jones says: “The pharmaceutical lobbyists wrote the bill.” “I’ve been in politics for 22 years and it was the ugliest night I have ever seen in 22 years,” says Jones of efforts by Republican Congressional leaders to persuade defecting Republicans to vote for one of the most expensive bills ever before the House.
However, the real payoff is that several lawmakers who worked on the bill have since joined firms that lobby for the drug industry, including the man who steered the legislation through the House, former Rep. Billy Tauzin, who also chaired the House committee that regulated the pharmaceutical industry. Tauzin retired to become the president of Pharma, the drug industry’s top lobbying group – a $2 million-a-year post.