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Drug Lobbyists’ Battle Cry Over Prices: Blame the Others

There’s no question that some drug prices are astronomically high, but when it comes to explaining why, the industry is rife with finger-pointing, according to The New York Times. From independent pharmacies to pharmacy managers like Express Scripts to the drug giants themselves, everyone is pointing fingers at the others — and the lobbyists are thick in Congress trying to buy their way to proving it’s somebody else’s problem.

This mired mess called lobbying is a testament to just how far the drug industry will go to protect its interests. It doesn’t matter whether it’s big-name brand names they’re representing, or a coalition of pharmacy techs: The bottom line is Pharma is trying to buy its way through Washington at your expense. And now that the 21st Century Cures Act is in effect, you’re going to see even more of it.

The Cures Act was touted as a tool for furthering medical research and finding cures for chronic diseases like cancer. In reality, it relaxes FDA standards and makes it easier for experimental drugs and vaccines to come to market — and drug, vaccine and medical device manufacturers and lobbyists are the big beneficiaries of it. When you think about how drug companies knowingly shipped opioids to suppliers that were funneling them to black markets, thus contributing to the current opioid epidemic, how could you even begin to believe that their current efforts on pricing are in your favor?

Add in the fact that pharmacies are in a race with each other to dispense drugs at a dangerous and alarming pace, and the only thing you have left to protect you is yourself. You can begin by questioning the need for each prescription when your doctor gives it, and again at the pharmacy about side effects and safety, particularly in conjunction with other drugs you may be taking. You also can contact your Congresspersons and demand that they represent you instead of industry.
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