Thursday, January 18, 2007

Shameless Drug Lords

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Drug makers purposely stall release of generics

FTC: American consumers are cheated out of billions of dollars in savings

Updated: 4:48 p.m. ET Jan 17, 2007

WASHINGTON - Drug companies increasingly are reaching legal settlements that delay the introduction of cheaper generic medicines and cheat Americans of billions of dollars a year in savings, federal regulators on Wednesday told lawmakers seeking to ban the agreements.

The Federal Trade Commission and others allege the settlements allow brand-name pharmaceutical companies to pay off would-be generic competitors, which then agree to delay introduction of their less costly but otherwise identical versions of the original medicines.

“The losers are American consumers, who pay high drug prices for years to come,” said Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis. Kohl, joined by Democratic and Republican colleagues, reintroduced legislation Wednesday to ban the agreements.

This is not a new story. It is resurfacing as new research into cancer fighting drugs reveals new hope from an old and very inexpensive generic drug already in use for certain metabolic disorders. The drug, dichloroacetate (DCA), is a compound derived from chlorinated drinking water and industrial solvents. DCA attacks a unique feature of cancer cells. Tests on human cancers injected into rats have shown tremendous hope. DCA is also proven to be relatively safe. It has no patent, and could be manufactured at a fraction of the cost for newly developed drugs.

I have seen the ravages of chemotherapy and other drugs on the afflicted. If I should ever contract cancer, and the likelihood is good, I want the DCA and I want it available and inexpensive. Too many Americans become bankrupted from illness, and live only from one un-payable bill to the next until they die. I don’t feel the already filthy rich drug companies or their shareholders deserve the right, in the name of profit, to keep any life or pain saving drug off the market. It is bad enough already that the drug companies, with the assistance of law enforcement, won’t allow dying patients to partake of cannabis to alleviate pain and nausea. (Heaven forbid a human being should ever be able to treat himself from what he grows in his own backyard.)

Soon we will start seeing a lot of advertising by drug companies, touting their research efforts into cancer therapies. We will hear amazing statistical data of how many lives were extended through the ‘selfless’ devotion of the pharmaceutical industry. Their hired guns, lawyers and lobbyists, will testify before Congress and all America that DCA is untested and unsafe, especially if it comes from Canada or Europe. The FDA will then be forced to ban DCA under the guise of consumer safety; all at the behest of its corporate masters. This notwithstanding the drug’s production and safe use for other non-cancer related conditions. Perhaps, even those who have already been taking DCA will have to find other more costly medications. Like sharks to chum, the drug moguls smell a payday at the expense of the ill. Predictably, slick marketing and misinformation in the name of corporate avarice will replace the voice of science and compassion.

The only conspiracy here is the most common, corrupt, and immoral conspiracy of all; unmitigated and ruthless Greed. Health care should be nationalized as soon as possible. The health and welfare of the American people are more important than the narrow and select corporate interests who extort money from the ill and dying.

They are shameless bastards.

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