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  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    View attachment 53766 (ANALYSIS) — While the Republican Party is publicly dismantling millions of Americans’ health safety net, more than a dozen Democrats late Wednesday quietly threw their weight behind Big Pharma and voted down an amendment that would have allowed pharmacists to import identical—but much less expensive—drugs from Canada and other countries.

    The “power and wealth of the pharmaceutical industry and their 1,300 lobbyists and unlimited sums of money have bought the United States Congress,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) declared in a speech on the Senate floor while introducing the amendment, co-sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), which would have been attached to the chamber’s budget resolution. It came amid a flurry of legislative activity during Wednesday evening’s “vote-a-rama.”

    “Year after year the same old takes place: the pharmaceutical industry makes more and more money and the American people pay higher ad higher prices,” Sanders continued, asking his colleagues if they “have the guts finally to stand up to the pharmaceutical industry and their lobbyists and their campaign contributions and fight for the American consumer?”

    It turns out, no.

    View attachment 53767 In fact, 13 Democrats voted against the measure (roll call here), siding with the Republican majority and drawing sharp rebuke from observers, who pointed out that many who voted “no” receive substantial contributions from the pharmaceutical industry.

    Many were particularly dismayed that Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) had sided with Big Pharma after winning liberal praise for his unprecedented testimony against Attorney General nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). Notably, 12 Republicans and two Independents, including Sanders, voted for the measure.

    Seventy-two percent of Americans support such a rule, according to Sanders, who noted that the price differences between the U.S. and Canada are “dramatic.”

    “EpiPen, for example, costs more than $600 in the United States compared to $290 in Canada for the exact same allergy treatment,” a press statement from Sanders’ office observed. “A popular drug for high cholesterol, Crestor, costs $730 in the U.S. but $160 across the northern border. Abilify, a drug to treat depression, is more than $2,636 for a 90-day supply in the U.S. but only $436 in Canada.”

    Sanders’ attempt to attach such a provision to the 21st Century Cures Act last month was similarly blocked.

    Should the import rule have passed, it would have been a step towards ending “the epidemic of price gouging,” Sanders said, which has become a hot-button issue for many Americans who are unable to afford their prescription drugs—a point the former presidential candidate hammered home on Twitter ahead of the vote.

    View attachment 53768

    By Lauren Mac Cauley - The Mint Press/Jan . 12, 2017
    Photo: Ron Sachs, ap;n2- twitter captures
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. Name goes here
    While I don't agree with Sanders about the majority of his views, this particular subject he is dead on. The pharmaceutical companies have literally bought Congress. These Congressmen that receive bribes, since that's what they are, should all be brought up on corruption charges. We the people is who the government is supposed to be looking out for, not wealthy companies. Shame on all those who voted down the bill.
  2. aemetha
    Have we reached the next step in Plato's five regimes yet?
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