Drug Companies Buying Influence At The State Level

Talk about covering all the angles, the mega-drug companies really has it down to a science... Not only do the drug companies seem to have far more control over their perception than the FDA does -- perhaps a reflection of the standard Congressional practice of taking handouts -- many physicians appear to be easily fooled into serving their needs.

Folks, the extent to which the mega-pharmaceuticals will go to buy influence runs a whole deeper than that. A short but powerful story in the New York Times late last week detailed a Senate Finance Committee probe into drug companies grants given to state officials and other organizations as an aggressive form of influence peddling that may coerced state Medicaid and Medicare drug purchases. Letters were sent to 18 drug companies to ensure those grants were used for educational purposes, not buying business...

The Senate committee has more than ample reason to be concerned: Pennsylvania's top pharmacist was recently fined some $27,000 by the state's Ethics Commission for failing to disclose his ancillary income as a paid consultant to Pfizer.

Besides, what happens at those "educational conferences" for physicians sounds more health harming than anything else: Many are used to fund physician education seminars where off-label uses of drugs are discussed.

No wonder more people by the day are taking a closer look at my vision for the future of health care that has nothing to do with quick-fix cures and potentially toxic drugs.

New York Times June 10, 2005 Registration required

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