Monday, November 16th, 2009

Swiss Drug Pushers Actually Do Own Our Government

UGHWere you having a nice giant paper cup of coffee and maybe a waffle on Sunday morning when, in a fit of old-schoolness, you decided to act like days of yore and read your Sunday New York Times? How pleasant! Until you actually read the page one story about how lobbyists for Genentech, a subsidiary of Roche, actually write the things that our elected officials put in the Congressional Record. Yes! Our elected officials-at best-regurgitate drug lobby talking points on healthcare. And they're all there, from Joe "YOU LIE!" Wilsons to Yvette Clarke, from whom we'd expect a little better. But that'll teach us to expect things. Is it a legal problem to say that it is my opinion, though I would do no such thing myself, of course, that the only political answer is that they should all be taken out back and shot? And then dismembered, and the remaining pieces of them shot individually, while every available orifice is filled with Raptiva and Xenical? Ha, oh look! "In the last year, the industry has raised the wholesale prices of brand-name prescription drugs by about 9 percent, according to industry analysts. That will add more than $10 billion to the nation's drug bill."

14 Comments / Post A Comment

KarenUhOh (#19)

Oh, take a pill.

Forgot your Celaxis this morning?

Abe Sauer (#148)

The only surprise is that Americans only now find this news to be a surprise. This is how sausage is made.

flossy (#1,402)

Side effects may include paranoia, seething anger, involuntary spitting and sudden-onset urge to vote for a third party candidate in the next election. If these symptoms persist for more than four hours please call the office of your congressional representative to complain.

hanna (#644)

Well said. I admit to being a serial surprisee with this kind of stuff. I know it happens, I know it's systemic, and yet it still astounds me and makes me depressed. Which is probably a good thing. Complaint letter written.

HiredGoons (#603)

Excuse me while I drink some Snake Oil.

fek (#93)

My favorite part:

"Asked about the Congressional statements, a lobbyist close to Genentech said: "This happens all the time. There was nothing nefarious about it."

Shot: yes.

Bucko (#1,599)

Politicians never speak their own words. They have writers for that. The job of the politician is to glad-hand and make back room deals. Same as it ever was. There is water on the bottom of the ocean.

Steve (#1,777)

You obviously know nothing about Yvette Clarke if you expect anything from her. Frankly, having seen her work on the municipal level, I'm impressed she was able to do even do this much (even if "this much" is sell your constituency out for some hot pharma-industry $$$).

flossy (#1,402)

Speaking of which, she and I share an alma mater, but only because our school gave her a degree in the midst of her election campaign, many years after she dropped out with only a few credits to go.

Tulletilsynet (#333)

This is a cute gotcha story. But it's also a trivialization and a failed opportunity to explain. Because, guess what, lobbyists aren't paid huge fees to get blurbs inserted into the fake speeches in the Congressional Record. They get paid to write, as in "to write," the laws. — Frequent lobbyist remark when explaining ambiguous statutory provision to journalist: "Well I ought to know what it means. I wrote it."

Baboleen (#1,430)

It's a small world after all.

brianvan (#149)

If we shoot them all, who will make my penis bigger? Think of the important things, people!

Ledrew (#654)

Cute story: In the print version of this (at least in my NY edition), the article as it continues on the jump wraps around a giant Lipitor ad. Took a few beats to figure out it was in fact an ad, and not a graphic accompanying the story.

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