parasitic very big pharma

11-28-16     from a chemical standpoint OxyContin is nearly identical to heroin and has been identified as a major gateway drug to heroin.  http://www.livetradingnews.com/big-pharma-promotes-legal-drug-addiction-10406.html#.V5u6cYc-D-Y

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4-8-13      Big Pharma has been systematically price-gouging the Medicare program for seniors and people with disabilities — and raking in billions in excessive profits. The 11 largest global drug companies made an astonishing $711 billion in profits over the 10 years ending in 2012, and they got a turbo-charged boost when the Medicare Part D prescription drug program started in 2006, according to an analysis of corporate filings by Health Care for America Now (HCAN).

The drug companies hold the power to charge America’s consumers whatever they want. Worse, Medicare — the nation’s largest purchaser of drugs — is prohibited by law from seeking better prices.   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ethan-rome/big-pharma-pockets-711-bi_b_3034525.html

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5-19-16     “The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “And since 1999, the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioid pain relievers and heroin) nearly quadrupled.”…

America’s political elites are, in short, perfectly happy to allocate taxpayer funds to pad the profits of large pharmaceutical corporations — corporations that comprise one of Washington’s most prominent and influential lobbies — but they are unwilling to pay for the effects these companies’ products are having on the population.

It is widely understood, for instance, that Americans pay significantly more for drugs than other advanced nations — in part due to Medicare being barred from negotiating drug prices.  …

Mazzucato concludes that it is, essentially, a “long con,” a “parasitic” relationship between the public and private sectors in which pharmaceutical companies, taking advantage of their influence in Washington, reap the benefits of public funding without having to pay their fair share. In other words, the public is subsidizing the rich.

And it is not just the pharmaceutical industry that is granted such privileges, but corporate America broadly.

Banks that bring down the economy are rescued and insured by the government, and no one is held accountable. Oil companies, including those that, on multiple occasions, have been guilty of systematically violating environmental regulations, are the recipients of huge tax breaks and federal subsidies, year after year. Military contractors with a history of over-billing the government continue to be lavished with grants and no-bid contracts.

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/05/19/big-pharma-lavished-subsidies-congress-takes-stingy-approach-opioid-epidemic

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6-7-16      In one case, the federal government spent $484 million developing the cancer drug Taxol — derived from the bark of Pacific yew trees — and it was marketed under an agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb starting in 1993. The medical community called it a promising new drug in the fight against ovarian and breast cancer.

Since then, Bristol-Myers Squibb has sold $9 billion worth of Taxol worldwide, according the the General Accounting Office report released today.

The National Institutes of Health have received just $35 million in royalties from Bristol-Myers, however.  Bristol did not discover the drug. The federal government did — with taxpayer dollars — and then negotiated a licensing agreement with the pharmaceutical giant.

“The federal government repeatedly dropped the ball,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. “Or they didn’t realize they had the ball when it came to protecting the public’s interest in Taxol.”

So, taxpayers footed part of the original bill and now those who use Taxol are paying a second time.  The Medicare program alone paid nearly $700 million over a five-year period, to buy a drug the government helped develop.

“I think this system is dysfunctional,” said Wyden, who sought the investigation.  “How many times should the taxpayer pay again and again?” http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/YourMoney/story?id=129651

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