GOOD HEALTH IN THE UNITED STATES IS A PRIVILEGE THAT THE DRUG INDUSTRY
CONTROLS-NOT A RIGHT
At age 77 I have been diagnosed with a heart problem called Arithmia. Essentially the heart is
not beating with a steady rhythm. This puts me at greater risk for a stroke or heart attack due to
coagulation in the blood. Therefore, I take a blood thinner called Eloquis. Made by the largest
pharmaceutical company in the world – Pfizer.
The monthly cost for Eloquis in the United States for my prescription is $537.00 dollars Pfizer, controls market share for a long list of different drugs to treat a wide range of medical problems. Essentially they can charge whatever they want, they rule the industry and have bought our congressmen, and likely our President. The United States does not regulate drug prices like Mexico or Canada.
The monthly cost of Eloquis for the same prescribed amount in Mexico is $1500 pesos, or sixty dollars. This amounts to being almost nine times more expensive in the U.S. of A. than Mexico.
In September 2009, Pfizer pleaded guilty to the illegal marketing of the arthritis drug Bextra for
uses unapproved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and agreed to a $2.3 billion
settlement, the largest health care fraud settlement at that time. In order to get even, Pfizer was seeing more success in its battle against makers of counterfeit prescription drugs. Pfizer has hired
customs and narcotics experts from all over the globe to track down and assemble evidence that
can be used to pursue civil suits for trademark infringement. Since 2007, Pfizer has spent
$3.3 million on investigations and legal fees and recovered about $5.1 million, with another
$5 million tied up in ongoing cases.
Pfizer is one of the largest lobbying interests in United States politics. In the first 9 months of
2009 Pfizer spent over $16.3 million on lobbying US congressional lawmakers. They ranked
behind Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Who represent multiple drug makers. President Trump was the recipient of 30 million dollars to his campaign from drug manufacturers.
Pfizer´s political power is exercised outside the United States as well. According to U.S. State
Department cables released by the whistle blower WikiLeaks, Pfizer lobbied against New Zealand getting a free trade agreement with the United States. Objecting because of New Zealand’s restrictive
drug buying rules and tried to get rid of New Zealand’s former health minister, Helen Clark, in
1990 for championing drug control pricing.
In addition to buying U.S. congressmen. Pfizer became the number one pharmaceutical company in the world by buying out the competition. From year 2000 to 2010 they purchased or merged eight major pharmaceutical companies into the Pfizer family. Each of the eight cost Pfizer more than a billion dollars. For a total investment of 113.5 billion dollars. They also purchased five smaller drug companies that sold in the range of millions of dollars. For a total of 1,627 million dollars. The combination of monopolizing the industry, buying off politicians and not being ashamed of sheer greed. Has allowed this monolith to economically rape sick people. Poor folks are dying because they can´t afford their medicine. I´m ashamed at the materialism that is destroying democracy in my country. Maybe already has destroyed it.
Le Roy Jose Amate is producer and presenter of
Soul Street 92.9 fm in Ensenada 8:30 pm, Sundays. INTERNET www.xs929fm.com