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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Another Unholy Alliance- Big Pharma + Big Gov

-LegalNewsline AstraZeneca to pay $520 million over Seroquel marketing
*Hat tip to CJ
Comments from someone named Jo about the above article:

This is how drug/vaccine makers do their business; dark and dirty. But they claim complete innocence through it all. It is how the game is played. The ones to suffer are the consuming public and our children.

When a drug company makes $4.87 billion ($4,870,000,000), from a single drug in a year, a $520 million settlement is but a slap on the wrist, and all in a day's work. They most likely pay about as much for printer paper and paperclips in a year.

But what is still curious to me, is though U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said, "These were not victimless crimes - illegal acts by pharmaceutical companies and false claims against Medicare and Medicaid can put the public health at risk, corrupt medical decisions by health care providers, and take billions of dollars directly out of taxpayers' pockets," no particular victims or tax payers received any compensation from the settlement.

Instead, Under the settlement, the federal government will get $301.9 million, while state Medicaid programs and the District of Columbia will get up to $218.1 million under the civil judgment. We should all be joyous that Big Pharma's bed partner, the federal government, will get the bulk of the settlement (nice shell game guys), and the state Medicaid programs will get the rest. Government-funded Medicaid programs, of course, require that physicians provide for their patients, insurance company-policed, Standard of Care, that has been determined by a pharma-dominated national medical "team", which ultimately boils down to a pharmaceutical pill for virtually every ill (a more elaborate version of the shell game).

This whole scenario is not unlike the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program where victims are compensated for vaccine damages from a government kitty that is subsidized by a surcharge that is paid by the consumer on every vaccine. The consuming public then, is paying themselves from their own bank account for their death and destruction at the hands of the vaccine-makers, so that the vaccine makers are not financially burdened with the monetary loss that paying for the results of their own destructive products would cause. Nice.

It is time for the people to go after the wallet of Big Pharma. Until they do, it will be business-as-usual for the Big Pharma CEO's in their untouchable ivory towers. As long as pHARMa has the unlimited funds, and the power that goes with it, to continue to wine and dine your doctor, and bend your congressmen, don't expect to see much in the way of change.

Note: At the time I tried, the comment feature was not operational at this site for this story.

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