The Rural Patriot

November 5, 2006

Big Pharma and the Republicans

None of this will probably surprise you, but with the election two days away it’s important to review.

Drug companies use part of their profits to make sure that the very best people are elected to the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. To them, the very best people are Republicans.

Through September 2006 drug companies had given $8.7 million to political campaigns. If both Democrats and Republicans were equally good, those funds would be distributed evenly between the two parties. Democrats and Republicans are not equally good-Republicans are better. That’s why 69% of drug company contributions have gone to Republican candidates. (In fairness it must be noted that although Pfizer sent 67% of its contributions to Republicans before October, its most recent disclosures show that it has had some sort of epiphany and during October gave only 41% of its contributions to Republicans and 59% to Democrats. There is no logical explanation for this change of heart.)

As I see it, there is an explanation. By October, polls have shown that it is a realistic possibility that the Democrats will take control of the House of Representatives and make gains in the Senate. That’s about the only explanation I can think of for the change of heart.

Lets do the math. $6,003,000 in contributions to Republicans and $2,697,000 to Democrats prior to October. Current records show Pharmaceuticals/Health Products donations of $4,475,523 to Democrats (30%) and $10,171,005 (69%) to Republicans for a total of $14,646,528. That’s some big bucks.

The article continues discussing the benefits to the pharmaceutical companies regarding the Republican policy brought forth from the new Medicare Part D plan and the “donut hole” aspect.

Drug companies are, of course, deeply indebted to the Republicans. In crafting the Medicare prescription drug benefit that went into effect in 2006, the Republicans left drug pricing to the free market place. One of the proposals that Democrats favored would have permitted Medicare to negotiate prices for drugs that were part of the prescription drug benefit. Republicans did not like that idea since that inserts the federal government into a decision that should be only between the senior and his or her pharmacist. …

Pharmaceutical corporations have given Republican Jim Talent of Missouri $900,000 and Republican Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania almost $500,000 this year. Talent and Santorum are ardent supporters of the Medicare Part D bill.

So what will that “big, bad, extreme liberal” Nancy Pelosi do if Democrats take back control of the House of Representatives?

Nancy Pelosi, who would be speaker of the House if the Democrats win in November, says the first thing Democrats will do if they take control is launch an attack on the free enterprise system loved by Republicans. That’s not how she puts it. She says Democrats will change the rules to enable the government to negotiate drug prices paid for by Medicare. She says the resultant savings would be so great that there would be no need for the donut hole. The losers would be the drug companies. The winners would be the seniors. That is another reason drug companies give most of their support to Republicans. It is a reason seniors should vote for democrats.

I see this as a detriment ONLY to the big pharma corporations, not to the seniors who are affected by this program.

Are you or someone you know struggling with paying your prescription costs; are you hurting because you are in that “donut hole”? Then it probably doesn’t make you feel any better to know that millions of your dollars have translated into pure profit for these pharmaceuticals and are being used not for research and development, but for campaign donations to help re-elect and influence legislators to keep these profitable policies in place.

If you are satisfied with this, vote for republican candidates. If you want change, vote for the democratic candidates.



  1. This is the kicker…Zyprexa is only FDA approved for schizophrenia (.5-1% of pop) and some bipolar (2% pop) and then an even smaller percentage of theses two groups.
    So how the heck does Zyprexa get to be the 7th largest drug sale in the world?

    Eli Lilly is in deep trouble for using their drug reps to ‘encourage’ doctors to write zyprexa for non-FDA approved ‘off label’ uses.
    The drug causes increased diabetes risk,and medicare picks up all the expensive fallout.There are now 7 states (and counting) going after Lilly for fraud and restitution.

    Daniel Haszard

    Comment by Daniel Haszard — November 6, 2006 @ 11:27 am | Reply

  2. Eric Massa took no Corporate PAC money – none at all!! Said the he sold himself to the lowest bidders – The voters of the NY 29th Congressional District. He owes the corporations and lobbyist NOTHING. His vote will not be for sale to anyone.

    Comment by LV Vet — November 6, 2006 @ 9:40 pm | Reply

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