Drug maker gets even more favors from Congress courtesy of the fiscal cliff

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posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 11:50 AM
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Drug maker gets even more favors from Congress courtesy of the fiscal cliff


www.dvorak.org

Just two weeks after pleading guilty in a major federal fraud case, Amgen, the world’s largest biotechnology firm, scored a largely unnoticed coup on Capitol Hill: Lawmakers inserted a paragraph into the “fiscal cliff” bill that did not mention the company by name but strongly favored one of its drugs.
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
somd.com
www.pnhp.org
www.tampabay.com
edit on 23-1-2013 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 11:50 AM
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If you prefer to keep your blood-pressure from spiking... don't read this thread.



Background:

Amgen... guess what? When they were found guilty in January of fraud and various illegal marketing practices, when they plead guilty to "criminal information" case in December...

Wait... it's better to give you the list:


-- illegally marketing the drugs Aranesp, Enbrel and Neulasta;

-- illegally offering, paying or causing to be paid kickbacks for the purpose of influencing health care providers’ selection and utilization of Aranesp, Enbrel, Epogen, Neulasta, Neupogen and Sensipar for Medicaid recipients;

-- knowingly reporting inaccurate Average Sales Prices (ASPs) for Aranesp, Epogen, Neulasta and Neupogen;

-- knowingly reporting inaccurate Best Prices and Average Manufacturer Prices for Aranesp, Enbrel, Epogen, Neulasta, Neupogen and Sensipar by failing to include remuneration that was paid to health care providers and that was conditioned on purchase of Amgen products in violation of the Medicaid Rebate Statute, 42 U.S.C. ? 1396r-8.


You know what happened, don't you?

CASE SETTLED!
(everything save December's admission - no admission of wrong doing.)

SO... this Big Pharma player has to pay huge settlement costs to Medicaid, etc....

$612 million in civil damages and penalties to compensate Medicaid... (but the Maryland Medicaid program will receive $856,473 from the settlement.)

This was what is known as a "qui tam" case where the person(s) assisting the prosecution of the case are entitled to a part of the awarded amount... let's see ... $612M - $856,473 = $611M left... ahem.....


A National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units team participated in the investigation and conducted the settlement negotiations with Amgen on behalf of the settling states.


So a Pharma association gets some bucks over this?

The insult to add to the injury (bitter salt-flavored)

Well it's OK..... Congress has made sure to grease the wheels of profit for Amgen....


The language buried in Section 632 of the law delays a set of Medicare price restraints on a class of drugs that includes Sensipar, a lucrative Amgen pill used by kidney dialysis patients.

The provision gives Amgen an additional two years to sell Sensipar without government controls. The news was so welcome that the company’s chief executive quickly relayed it to investment analysts. But it is projected to cost Medicare up to $500 million over that period.


OK - guaranteed $500M in returns for Amgen... this way they can sell out their drugs which had been financially slated to go out with the egregious pricing intact...


Supporters of the delay, primarily leaders of the Senate Finance Committee who have long benefited from Amgen’s political largess, said it was necessary to allow regulators to prepare properly for the pricing change.

But critics, including several Congressional aides who were stunned to find the measure in the final bill, pointed out that Amgen had already won a previous two-year delay, and they depicted a second one as an unnecessary giveaway…


Emphasis mine.


Amgen has deep financial and political ties to lawmakers like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, and Senators Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, and Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, who hold heavy sway over Medicare payment policy as the leaders of the Finance Committee.


So yeah.... who does Congress "work for?".......





www.dvorak.org
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 23-1-2013 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 11:58 AM
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Had problems with some links.... apologies.



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 12:08 PM
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Amgen’s employees and political action committee have distributed nearly $5 million in contributions to political candidates and committees since 2007, including $67,750 to Mr. Baucus, the Finance Committee chairman, and $59,000 to Mr. Hatch, the committee’s ranking Republican. They gave an additional $73,000 to Mr. McConnell, some of it at a fund-raising event for him that it helped sponsor in December while the debate over the fiscal legislation was under way. More than $141,000 has also gone from Amgen employees to President Obama’s campaigns.



Amgen, which has a small army of 74 lobbyists in the capital, was the only company to argue aggressively for the delay


I think politicians should be required to wear corporate logos on their suits representing the companies who purchase their votes.



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 12:14 PM
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reply to post by Zarniwoop
 


I really don't think they have enough room on their $1,000 suits to accommodate all the logos....

But then.... most of the companies hail back to the same cartels, combines, and cabals anyway.... and the political appointee leadership is entirely interchangeable.

I think behind the Democrat and Republican parties there is just a well-disguised form of organized crime....



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 12:31 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 




I really don't think they have enough room on their $1,000 suits to accommodate all the logos....


Problem solved... Headbands!





Mitch's Campaign Contributors



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 01:00 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


Hey what else can you expect from the pimps that buy the whores in congress, so for what I read this company have two years in which to kill as many patients as possible before the FDA gets involved

I am one of those that will never support big pharma and I do what my ancestors before pills used to do like well and stay strong.



big pharma pills kills people, since they have gotten greedy with the sell of their crap the new pills kills people, anybody that needs any treatment should stick with older medications that are better, cheaper and hold better records of safety.
edit on 23-1-2013 by marg6043 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 04:12 PM
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More corporations getting breaks and being allowed to do questionable things while the public suffers. Is there really anyone left in D.C. who cares about the average joe? How can we continue to think that our government is working correctly? The wrong people are in charge, we can't get rid of them because they have mastered the art of deception to convince the public that they are the right people for office, and they continually shaft us. Why does the public continually take this with an "Its not my problem" attitude? It is your problem, my problem, everyone's problem. When I think about the direction this country is going it makes very very sad.



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 04:24 PM
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Alright now, we can't have it both ways.

Either big pharma is trying to kill everyone with it's drugs...

Or they are keeping people alive longer which is contributing to problems such as over-population, poverty, and hunger.

Which is it?



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 04:28 PM
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reply to post by Krazysh0t
 


It can be very disheartening to realize just how little influence the human citizens of this nation have over those who portray themselves as "our representatives" in government.

It hasn't always been this way... but frankly, it was never as 'great' as the ideals we were taught either.

Our most promising defense against the growing super-citizens that drive the 'celebrities' in government is one that we can achieve...

It involves continuous public pressure for transparency... you see... these political thespians have one major flaw they can never overcome... they can't trust each other. Given the right public sentiment, they will gladly throw each other under the bus of accountability...

One by one, these "players" need to face the truth of who they have become - and how that contrasts with who they have pretended to be... (of course they'll blame others... but who they blame is not our problem)

It starts by recognizing openly and repeatedly... that what the media produces is NOT truth; barely fact, and most frequently a fiction commissioned by someone who wants to continue their domination over the government teat.

We need to make it unprofitable to court government - and we must strip the government of it's entitlement to "privacy".... that is not an impossible goal... unless we all raise children who believe that what the celebrities tell them is gospel truth...

After that we can take away the human rights attributed to non-living entities... like corporations. Liability engenders responsibility....

At the end of the day - governing transparency must be demanded of the political cabals that negotiate away our rights and spend our money as if we had empowered them to do so. I know I never heard anywhere that our representatives may at their discretion create business for criminals .... problem is - many of them are as criminals themselves...
edit on 23-1-2013 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 04:30 PM
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Originally posted by CirqueDeTruth
Alright now, we can't have it both ways.

Either big pharma is trying to kill everyone with it's drugs...

Or they are keeping people alive longer which is contributing to problems such as over-population, poverty, and hunger.

Which is it?


It's neither.... big Pharma is only perpetuating obscene profit.

The problem is the consequences are not theirs to face... friends in high places... and whatnot.



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 04:33 PM
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reply to post by CirqueDeTruth
 



Which is it?


I think it depends on the drug.

The only constant is that they are making money hand over fist no matter which is true, and they are sharing the wealth with the politicians that vote in support of their business tactics. It's a circle of corruption that isn't confined to big pharma.



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 04:49 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


I like these ideas. I really do, but most of that hinges on the public becoming aware of the problem and becoming involved. Right now the public is too apathetic to their extended surroundings. And to make matters worse the media perpetuates this with the lies and misinformation that it spews on a regular basis. How are Americans supposed to be well informed and active in what matters if they cannot even get good proper information?

I had a conversation with my grandparents a week or so ago about the gun debate. They were under the false assumption that all this gun talk was about fully automatic weapons. I had to explain to them what the difference between a semi-automatic and a fully automatic weapon is. I also had to explain to them how loose the definition of an "assault weapon" is. To make matters worse, I fully believe that if I were to have this conversation again, I'd have to explain the very same things I had already explained to them.

Another example. my mother refuses to have any reasonable debates on the gun issue and thinks it is justified because we need to honor the deaths of those children that dies at Sandy Hook. To this day, I cannot get her to listen to my position no matter how logical and well thought out my position may be.

Now I have no intention of derailing your thread into the gun debate, I just brought that up because they are incidents that are fresh in my head. I can think of many more with the same and other people for different discussions. My point is, if all these people are believing the media and listening to what they say, how are they going to know what to do to try to go about fixing our country? How can we organize enough people to demand transparency from our government?

The way it looks to me is that the government is able to get away with these things because they are effectively doing a magic trick, making us look at the rabbit while their hand is digging in our pocket. They are doing this with the media. They continue to break the law over and over again, then sweep in under the rug and get the media to report on something else or to seriously downplay the significance of what they did. The media is supposed to be on the side of the truth, not the side of whoever pays them not to talk about something.



posted on Jan, 23 2013 @ 05:59 PM
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reply to post by Maxmars
 


Well, thats quite the shell game they have going....
Fleece the sheep, as we the only ones who really pay.

Here is a little gem of an interview....
on this mess.....

www.pharmalot.com...





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