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When I first started becoming aware of how sleazy, parasitic and corrupt the U.S. economy was, I only had expertise in one industry, financial services. Coming to grips with the blatant criminality of the TBTF Wall Street banks and their enablers at the Federal Reserve and throughout the federal government, I thought this was the main issue that needed to be confronted. What I’ve learned in the years since is pretty much every industry in America is corrupt to the core, more focused on sucking money away from helpless citizens via rent-seeking schemes versus actually producing a product and adding value. Unfortunately, the healthcare industry is no exception.
Pharmacy Benefit Managers
Even some Republicans criticize PBMs for pursuing profit at the public’s expense. “They show no interest in playing fair, no interest in the end user,” says Representative Doug Collins of Georgia...
“They act as monopolistic terrorists on this market.”
Collins and a bipartisan group in Congress want to rein in the PBM industry, setting up a titanic battle between competing corporate interests.
Over the past 30 years, PBMs have evolved from paper-pushers to significant controllers of the drug pricing system, a black box understood by almost no one. Lack of transparency, unjustifiable fees, and massive market consolidations have made PBMs among the most profitable corporations you’ve never heard about.
Everett's lawsuit, now in federal court in Seattle, accuses Purdue Pharma of gross negligence and nuisance. The city seeks to hold the company accountable, the lawsuit alleges, for "supplying OxyContin to obviously suspicious pharmacies and physicians and enabling the illegal diversion of OxyContin into the black market" and into Everett, despite a company program to track suspicious flows.
"Our community has been significantly damaged, and we need to be made whole," said Stephanson, who grew up in Everett and is its longest-serving mayor, holding the job since 2003.