13 Apr The American Spectator: Pharma’s Victim-Bribing Has Been Exposed
“The opioid epidemic, and the rapidly increasing rash of high drug prices, are the twin deadly sins of the modern pharmaceutical industry. Any serious pro-patient policy analyst in Washington will likely acknowledge this. The responsibility of companies like the makers of Oxycontin for the spread of opioids throughout vulnerable communities is a virtually uncontested fact, as are their continuing efforts to avoid being held to account.
What has remained stubbornly confusing for those of us who desire that reckoning, however, is the extent to which lawmakers have been willing, or even eager, to let Pharma off the hook. Surely, many of their constituents are sick and need cheaper drugs, or may have been swept up in the opioid crisis. How are the patients so mistreated by the pharmaceutical industry being not only completely ignored, but facing even worse policy going forward?
How, for example, has Congress failed to pass the CREATES Act yet, which would empower generic drug companies to force their brand name competitors to compete once their patents run out? How have the nonsensical practices whereby Pharma extends those patents, and thus keeps drug prices sky high, not been reformed? How is it that even a small, patient-centered program like the 340B drug pricing program, which trades access to Medicare and Medicaid for Pharma’s offering drugs at cheaper prices to underserved populations, is not bulletproof against the slings and arrows of Pharma lobbyists in Congress? Yes, granted, Pharma spends a lot of money on lobbying, but one would think shame would kick in or, failing that, the groups representing patients would push back at some point… right?”