Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lopsided Battle

The battle between complementary and alternative medicine and the prescription drug/medical complex doesn't even qualify as one-sided. All of the money, all of the lobbyists and all of the media coverage are controlled by the drug companies and medical powers.

Today's illustration is Amgen which spent over $10 million lobbying Congress last year but has already spent over $9 million so far this year. It seems a couple of their cash cow drugs, anemia drugs called Epogen and Aranesp, are in trouble and they're spending whatever it takes to get Medicare to change their new rule which limits payments. After all, the drugs represent 48% of their profits last year. The fact that Congress has only overturned one of 41,000 such rules in the last decade would make normal folks think twice about such a task, but not a drug company.

Their lobbying efforts have already produced results. Majorities in both the House and Senate have sent letters to Medicare protesting the change. Anybody want to place a bet that Amgen is going to get what it wants?

This is only one recent example of drug company money buying what they want in our Congress. If Americans don't wake up and pay attention they're going to discover they've lost the freedom to choose their health care because medical and pharmaceutical interests have bought them.

No comments: