We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Pharma Money Reaches Guideline Writers, Patient Groups, Even Doctors on Twitter

Click here to access article by Charles Ornstein from Pro Publica.
The long arm of the pharmaceutical industry continues to pervade practically every area of medicine, reaching those who write guidelines that shape doctors’ practices, patient advocacy organizations, letter writers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and even oncologists on Twitter, according to a series of papers on money and influence published today in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The findings of the papers provide further evidence showing how conflicts of interest help shape health care....
Ornstein doesn't present even half of the story of how medical care and low cost access to prescription drugs are influenced by pharmaceutical corporations with their tons of money. This is another illustration of how money that is concentrated in the hands of a few people can exercise so much power over only one sector, but a very important sector, of our lives. 

The rest of the story is about how pharmaceutical corporations purchase influence over our representatives in Congress and the executive branch in order to insure that they vote for their corporate interests. For this part of the unwritten story, we have to go to Open Secrets:

Top 20 Recipients (included on the list were candidates for offices)

                             Pharmaceuticals / Health Products: Top Recipients

My own Sen. Murray (from Washington state) who is touted as a very liberal Democratic senator is fifth on the list. Hillary raked in by far the most money because she was once a sure candidate for the White House.

It is clear that our masters in the capitalist ruling class not only purchase influence among our health providers, but also the government that passes laws related to our health care.

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