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October 18th, 2017

We Need to Understand What the Pharmaceutical Industry Does to Us

To The Editor,

We have all heard horrible stories about the price gouging by the pharmaceutical industry (Big Pharma). We hear far less about why they are able to get away with it. Now, thanks to a successful American businessman who got tired of watching high drug prices damage his ability to provide decent benefits to his employees, you can find out what’s going on by watching a free movie: Big Pharma, Market Failure.

The drug industry manipulates both congress and public opinion. One prominent fact that every American should remember: The drug industry spends more than $200 million a year just on lobbyingŃcarried out by more than a thousand different lobbyists–in the Senate and House of Representatives. In fact, if you divide the money they spend lobbying by the number of people in congress, you get $450,000 per member of congress, every year.

That’s an awful lot of money. And all of it is devoted to making sure that Congress cares more about the interests of Big Pharma than it does about the interests of me and you. It is not a coincidence that federal law prohibits Medicare from negotiating drug prices with the industry.

Drug manufacturers claim they need astronomical prices to fund the high cost of developing new drugs. That’s a fantasy. The drug companies spend far moreŃ50% moreŃon sales and marketing than they do on research and development. And many, many drugs are actually developed by non-profit organizations using federal funds, then purchased by the drug companies after the research has been completed.

There’s a lot more. Please see the movie. You can watch it online at https://fixithealthcare.com/big-pharma-movie/. You can get free copies of it to show in your community. You can host private showings in your home. Knowing is the first step to fixing.

Lee Russ

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