Sunday, January 06, 2008

Drug Money – The Bribing of Politicians

In looking for a web site on the Say No to Drugs campaign I found another site that is not connected to the campaign but contains a lot of data on how much money drug companies are paying to US politicians. To describe the amounts of money paid by Big Pharma to our elected representatives as "obscene" is an understatement. I had no idea of the vast sums changing hands until I read the first page of this web site: Politicians Who Got The Most Pharmaceutical Company Contributions In Year 2000 – scroll down a bit to see the list. The amounts make one wonder just who our representatives are actually representing.

What is more scary is the even larger amounts these companies pay to lobbyists. Between 1997 and 2000 the pharmaceutical industry paid over $336 million to lobbyists to help them persuade politicians to push their drugs on us.

You have to ask the question: "If the drugs provided by these corporations are truly beneficial, then why do they have to spend so much money persuading politicians to make laws to force us to take them?" If I had a disease and it was cured by some medical drug, I'd have no objection to taking it. You don't have to pass a law to persuade someone to do something that's going to save his or her life. But when the drugs don't really work or simply hide the symptoms and require the patient to continue taking them for the rest of his or her life, then it is no wonder Big Pharma has to get help from the politicians on its payroll.

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