In his inaugural address, Barack Obama said the commitments we make to each other through Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security don’t make us a nation of takers. But the actions of Amgen and its cronies under the dome on Capitol Hill show who the real takers are — not those who look to government for support in old age and hard times but the ones at the top whose avarice and lust for profit compel them to take as much as they can from that government at the expense of everyone else.
from Big Pharma Buys Off the Senate by Bill Moyers
You know my little story of Sophie's anticonvulsant -- the drug clobazam (known as Frisium outside the U.S. and Onfi inside) -- that costs $63 for a one-month supply if I buy it in Canada and nearly $1,000 if I buy it here in the United States ($500 with Sophie's private insurance policy)? It's such a small, small story if you compare it to the one I read about today, a story of cronyism and corruption and grievous ethics that makes your fingernails curl. In a nutshell, the enormous for-profit biotechnology firm Amgen (that, among others, manufactures a profitable drug for those on kidney dialysis) used its team of 74 lobbyists in Washington, D.C. to sneak in a huge loophole in the recent fiscal cliff deal that gives the company two more years of relief from Medicare cost controls for certain drugs for patients on kidney dialysis. Three senators, two Republicans and one Democrat, evidently "hold heavy sway over Medicare payment policy" and all three -- surprise, surprise -- have "received hefty campaign donations from the company whose bottom line mysteriously just got padded at taxpayer expense."
Shame on Amgen. Shame on Senators Mitch McConnell, Max Baucus and Orrin Hatch. Shame on Big Pharm and its lobbyist henchmen. Shame on all those who support this shit, whether you're a government employee, a consumer with shares in these companies, a lobbyist for Big Pharm, a drug manufacturer, an apologist for the grossest inequities in our country or someone who just doesn't want to admit that money rules.