Big Pharma, the Budget Deal, Hillary, and Iran

handshake-with-money-006Big Pharma: Medicating Our Nation’s Capitol With Big Money
By Sanderson

…The amount pharmaceutical companies spent lobbying in 2012 was 2.6 billion dollars. This was more than was spent by combining the all of the amounts spent on lobbying activities by Big Oil, Gas, Defense, and Aerospace industries and all of their associates!…

As a direct influence of their lobbying Congress, laws have been passed which have allowed big pharmaceutical companies to monopolize the drug market on new prescription drugs for terms of up to 20 years or more….

Most of the new medications being researched and developed are occurring at the university level and being funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)…. So as we, the tax payers, pay for the R&D of new medication out of our own pockets, Big Pharm claims to have suffered the costs of R&D themselves, and then turns around and recharges those” ghost” costs to the consumer by way of charging exorbitant prices for the medication!…

In 2006, the United States Congress expanded our Medicare System to include a prescription drug benefit (Medicare Part D)…. So, not only did big pharmacy get a “huge new revenue stream from taxpayers,” but they could charge this new group whatever they wished for their brand-name drugs….

As a result of this symbiotic relationship between Big Pharma and the FDA, the common consumer is often blocked from hearing about natural food or supplements which can treat certain illnesses cheaper and with outcomes as good, if not better, than the Big Pharma drugs being patented by the FDA.

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The Bipartisan Budget Deal and the Economy: The Beatings Continue
By Robert Borosage

The bipartisan budget agreement released late Tuesday is being celebrated, largely for showing that a deal is possible….

The deal was reached by give and take. Democrats defended Social Security and Medicare from cuts Republicans wanted. Republicans defended billionaires and multinationals from taxes that Democrats wanted. Democrats got some relief from short-term sequester cuts; Republicans got increased long-term deficit reductions. Democrats saved domestic programs from deeper cuts; Republicans saved military programs.

But what is the actual effect on the economy?

…Somehow Washington has failed to get the message. This deal doesn’t end the cutting; it only reduces its severity. It doesn’t generate jobs; it only cuts fewer of them. It doesn’t help the economy; it only reduces the harm to it.

Surely we can do better than that.

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Lament of the Plutocrats
Why Wall Street is fed up with the White House—and Republicans too.
By BEN WHITE and MAGGIE HABERMAN

…Still, some say fears that Clinton will end up alienating financial sector donors the way Obama has, even if she tacks left, are overblown. “Wall Street folks are so happy about [having Clinton run] that they won’t care what she says,” says one well-placed Democrat….

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Iran’s Hard-Liners Keep Their Criticism of Nuclear Pact to Themselves
By THOMAS ERDBRINK

For over a decade, Iran’s hard-line clerics and Revolutionary Guards … grew richer and more powerful, even as the country was increasingly impoverished by the sanctions….But if they do receive such a signal, the hard-liners have the money and means to mobilize a formidable opposition….

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