According to examiner.com drug companies and their trade groups spent a record $155 million on lobbying the past 18 months. Issues that top the list for spending include Medicare prescription drug price negotiation and FDA reform.
Drug companies were responsible for the bulk of the spending, employing around 1,100 lobbyists on capitol hill. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing of America accounted for 18 million of the 155 all by themselves.
According to recent reports, the majority of spending has been directed towards stopping the ability of Medicare to negotiate its prices on prescription medication. Big Pharma by far outspent all other lobbying organizations.
A recent 60 minutes expose entitled Under The Influence, talked about to several senators and other experts to assess the drug lobbyists’ role in passing bill that keeps drug prices high. Here is an exerpt from the program that talks about the Medicare prescription drug bill was passed three-and-a-half years ago;
"The pharmaceutical lobbyists wrote the bill, " says Jones. “The bill was over 1,000 pages. And it got to the members of the House that morning, and we voted for it at about 3 a. m.in the morning. "
Why did the vote finally take place at 3 a. m. ?
"Well, I think a lot of the shenanigans that were going on that night, they didn't want on national television in primetime, " according to Burton.
"I've been in politics for 22 years, " says Jones, “and it was the ugliest night I have ever seen in 22 years. "
The legislation was the cornerstone of Republican's domestic agenda and would extend limited prescription drugs coverage under Medicare to 41 million Americans, including 13 million who had never been covered before.
At an estimated cost of just under $400 billion over 10 years, it was the largest entitlement program in more than 40 years, and the debate broke down along party lines.
But when it came time cast ballots, the Republican leadership discovered that a number of key Republican congressmen had defected and joined the Democrats, arguing that the bill was too expensive and a sellout to the drug companies. Burton and Jones were among them.
"They're suppose to have 15 minutes to leave the voting machines open and it was open for almost three hours, " Burton explains. “The votes were there to defeat the bill for two hours and 45 minutes and we had leaders going around and gathering around individuals, trying to twist their arms to get them to change their votes. "
Jones says the arm-twisting was horrible.
Visit this Consumer Advocacy website for information on ordering medication from online with no prescription .
Tim Edwards is the author of many health related articles as well as the owner of a consumer advocacy website. Visit this Consumer Advocacy website for more information on ordering medication from online with no prescription .