Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Iowa has opportunity to direct National Attention to Pharma pricing abuses
January 19, 2016--Iowa voters have a unique opportunity to help shape policy to end the price abuses of Pharma which have moved the high cost of vital prescription medicines to the national spotlight by demanding that candidates in the upcoming caucuses explain their programs to lower prices, and to disclose what donations they have received from Pharma-related industries or front groups that might have an impact on their stands, says the publisher of a blog dedicated to prescription drug issues of cost and Pharma’s undue influence upon policy-makers.
In a blog posted on RxforAmericanHealth, Daniel Hines says that while much of the national attention focus on Iowa deals with the candidate matchups, the focus should instead be on real issues such as the unfavorable impact of Pharma’s ‘charge what the traffic will bear’ philosophy.
In his blog, Hines points out the extent of Pharma influence, noting Pharma-related contributions of thousands of dollars to virtually all of the leading candidates. He also lists specific contributions made by Pharma to candidates, and examines the relationships of the candidates with Pharma.
He calls the silence on the issue, especially in Iowa among Republican contenders as “ironic” since long-time Senator and Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee Charles Grassley is a ‘long-time supporter of personal importation of prescription medicines’ as a strategy to lower the cost of vital prescription medicines.
“As Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he has joined Senator John McCain (R-AZ) in appealing to Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell requesting waivers to permit personal importation of prescription medicines under the provisions of 21 U.S. Code § 384,” Hines notes.
“Iowa offers a chance to remind the American public of the impact that Pharma has on elections and politicians, and that it (Pharma) has the deep pockets to protect its goal of making the U.S. into its ‘safe haven’ for the highest drug prices in the world,” he continues.
“Let’s hope that the voters of Iowa use these last weeks before the caucus to call out the candidates and demand answers as to where they stand on prescription drug costs, as well as defining their relationships with Pharma. And, let’s hope that the rest of the election will demand more of the candidates of both political parties…and the people of Iowa can say that it all started with them, “ he concludes.