Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Return of Harry and Louise

Even more nauseating than methotrexate, Big Pharma has brought back Harry and Louise.
As a candidate for president, Barack Obama lambasted drug companies and the influence they wielded in Washington. He even ran a television ad targeting the industry's chief lobbyist, former Louisiana congressman Billy Tauzin, and the role Tauzin played in preventing Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices.

Since the election, Tauzin has morphed into the president's partner. He has been invited to the White House half a dozen times in recent months. There, he says, he eventually secured an agreement that the administration wouldn't try to overturn the very Medicare drug policy that Obama had criticized on the campaign trail.
For his part, Tauzin said he had not only received the White House pledge to forswear Medicare drug price bargaining, but also a separate promise not to pursue another proposal Obama supported during the campaign: importing cheaper drugs from Canada or Europe. Both proposals could cost the industry billions, undermine its ability to develop new cures and, in the case of imports, possibly compromise safety, industry officials contend.

Much of the bargaining took place in July at a meeting in the Roosevelt Room, just off the Oval Office, a person familiar with the discussions said. In attendance were Tauzin, several industry chief executives -- including those from Abbott Laboratories, Merck and Pfizer -- White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and White House aides.
Again, you and I were not at the table. I watched the TV ad. Of course Big Pharma wants to "get the deal done" quickly before people smell the whiff of corruption.

You may remember Tauzin as the founder of the southern "Blue Dog Democrats" who are vehemently opposed to bargaining over drug prices. That doesn't sound very fiscally responsible to me.

Who are the "Blue Dog Democrats" and where do they get their money?
This is a continuation of More Like Us. Excuse me while I go throw up.

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