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The new Inflation Reduction Act contains the first-ever provision allowing the federal government to actually negotiate some drug prices instead of paying whatever the greedy pharmaceutical companies demand. The U.S. is the only major country that doesn’t routinely do this, which is why a) non-generic drug prices are often astronomical and b) we pay prices that are multiples of what people in other countries pay.
Needless to say, this did not go unnoticed by the pharmaceutical companies, which have been lobbying and fear-mongering for more than a century to defeat any and all measures to rein in prices and their profits.
So this is a surprising and important victory for the government and all of us. The bill drastically restricts the number of drugs subject to price negotiation, but as Big Pharma knows, this may just be the start.
That’s why they employ 1,500 lobbyists (!!) and routinely dole out hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions spread liberally (no pun intended) to the campaign war chests of any Member of Congress that will accept the money – which is virtually all of them. This is one of the grossest and most brazen displays of the corruption of our representative government process, literally buying the votes of our elected officials to ensure that their profits are protected far better than the lives, wellbeing and pocketbooks of the public.
So this Democratic victory is not be ignored (no Republicans voted for it). “We’ve been fighting for decades — decades — for the ability to negotiate for lower prices,” said Nancy Pelosi. “We cannot undervalue what this legislation does.”