Friday, May 04, 2007

OFF-THE-RADAR: MAINSTREAM MEDIA UNDER-REPORTING 2/3RD'S SENATE VOTE PASSING DRUG IMPORTATION AMEMENDMENT

Washington D.C.--I have yet to see even a blurb on network news outlets, their local-affiliates, CNN, FOX, or anywhere else but the wires on the internet. In-character, Yahoo didn't appear to have thought it was worth posting as a visible headline on their homepage. This is great people! The FDA can now authorize the importation of pharmaceutical drugs from other countries, but there appears to be a curious omission: The Secretary of Health and Human Services still doesn't have the ability to negotiate for prices of drugs within the United States.

This is the description of the amendment and the bill it's attached to for those of you who want to do your own research: S.1082 (the bill), S.Amdt. 990 (Senate Amendment 990). Yes, now (in-theory) we'll be able to purchase cheaper drugs from importers who purchase drugs in countries with a better political culture, where corporations don't have as much of a stranglehold on the public (thanks to our apathy and the evil of politicians and lobbyists). In a sense, the bill is ridiculous because of this. Why not just collar the pharmaceutical companies (like Eli Lily, a corporation that the Bush and Quayle families have controlling-shares in) and make them lower their prices? You know: have the government set the prices!

SEC. X02. FINDINGS.

Congress finds that--

(1) Americans unjustly pay up to 5 times more to fill their prescriptions than consumers in other countries;

(2) the United States is the largest market for pharmaceuticals in the world, yet American consumers pay the highest prices for brand pharmaceuticals in the world;

(3) a prescription drug is neither safe nor effective to an individual who cannot afford it;

(4) allowing and structuring the importation of prescription drugs to ensure access to safe and affordable drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration will provide a level of safety to American consumers that they do not currently enjoy;

(5) American spend more than $200,000,000,000 on prescription drugs every year;

(6) the Congressional Budget Office has found that the cost of prescription drugs are between 35 to 55 percent less in other highly-developed countries than in the United States; and

(7) promoting competitive market pricing would both contribute to health care savings and allow greater access to therapy, improving health and saving lives. (govtrack.us, 05.03.2007)

What a weird conclusion: we won't confront corporations and their supremacy, so we'll make the market more competitive by allowing the importation of pharmaceuticals from other nations. How pathetic, how cowardly. I know, it's that (pathological) conventional wisdom again. Besides, under American law, it's illegal for corporations to do anything for the common good, they can only make profits for their shareholders. Check it out, it's actually illegal for them to move towards a social marketplace economy where the needs of the public are considered in business decisions and public policy regarding this economy.

Highly illogical, Captain (he's dead, Jim). It's interesting who didn't even bother to vote on the amendment: Joe Biden (D-Del.), John McCain (R-Az.), Sam Brownback (R-Ks.), Jeff Bingaman (D-Nm.), Lindsey Graham (R-Sc.), Tim Johnson (D-Sd., though all we know why, and it's understandable), Orrin Hatch (R-Ut.), and John Warner (R-Va.). Most of these idiots are simply dead-beats. Get out of office if you don't listen to the public. You had better heed the November 2006 midterms--even Indiana experienced a historical shift in our voting-patterns. There is a political price for not attending to the common good.

It appears Sens. Biden and McCain are too preoccupied with their respective campaigns for the presidency. This isn't smart for McCain, considering his state is heavily-populated with senior citizens who have to pay the highest-prices in the world for the medicine many of them need to survive. One can be assured that the AARP is going to remind them that he was absent for this vote, but he's nuts anyway (shell shock). Huh. It appears that the Senate was the last to know that we all pay too-much for our medicine. Morons.

Govtrack.us, 05.03.2007: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/amendment.xpd?session=110&amdt=s990