Bush and pharmaceutical industry profits


Bush gov’t agency refuses to lower the cost of a life-saving HIV/AIDS drug:
“The National Institutes of Health said it would forgo use of a
little-known law to effectively lower the price of Abbott Laboratories'
Norvir, a popular HIV medicine used to boost several life-saving AIDS
drugs.” [Source: Chicago Tribune , 8/5/04]

The pharmaceutical company had recently raised the price of this drug by
400%: The maker of the drug, Abbott, “raised the price of Norvir 400
percent in December.” [Source: Chicago Tribune , 8/5/04]

Bush administration refuses to enforce a law that could bring down the
exorbitant price of this drug: Even though “consumer groups asked the NIH
to ‘march in’ and let other companies make generic copies of Norvir before
its patent expires, a power the government secured in 1980 under an law that
has never been used,” the Bush administration refused. [Source: Chicago
Tribune , 8/5/04]

"The government on Wednesday refused to override patents on the AIDS drug
Norvir, effectively allowing a quintupling of the price to stand despite
consumer groups' accusations of price gouging.” [Source: Associated Press
, 8/5/04]

Advocates ask, why can’t we live by this basic rule – that taxpayers should
be able to afford drugs invented on government grants? "(We are) asking
the Bush administration to adopt a simple rule: U.S. consumers should not
pay more for drugs invented on government grants," said James Love,
president of the Washington consumer group Essential Inventions, which
petitioned the NIH over the Abbott price increase.” [Source: Chicago
Tribune , 8/5/04]

Should we really be surprised? After all, Bush signed a Medicare reform law
that increases drug company profits by $139 billion dollars – at consumer
expense:

Bush’s prescription drug law increases drug company profits by $139 billion.
“An estimated 61.1 percent of the Medicare dollars will remain in the
hands of drug makers as added profits. This windfall means an estimated
$139 billion dollars in increased profits over eight years for the world’s
most profitable industry. At $17 billion annually, this means about a 38%
rise in drug maker profit.” [Source: study by Health Reform Program, Boston
University, 10/31/03]

Bush has consistently relied on drug companies to help finance his
campaigns:

Just in his current & last campaigns, Bush has raised over $1.3 million from
the drug industry . According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Bush
has already received $ $844,349 from the Pharmaceutical Industry. This
figure already dwarfs his 2000 total of $499,283. [Source: Center for
Responsive Politics, July 2004;
http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/recips.asp?ind=H04 ]

And Bush has helped raised $46 million for the Republican Party, from the
drug industry. The pharmaceutical industry has given over $46 million to
Republicans since the 2000 election cycle. [Source:
http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.asp?Ind=H4300 ]

Bush raised nearly $20 million for Republicans at a single
drug-industry-hosted fundraiser. Bush raised the largest chunk of this
himself: “ pharmaceutical and health-care concerns are providing major
support for a fund-raiser scheduled for Wednesday night that is expected to
raise more than $20 million for Republican candidates in this year's
Congressional election. Sponsors of the event, which features a speech by
President Bush, include GlaxoSmithKline, the multinational drug giant, as
well as others in the pharmaceutical industry, a Republican official said.”
[Source: New York Times , 6/19/02]

Bush’s 2004 campaign contributors include Abbott Laboratories executives:

LEIDEN, JEFFREY M.
9/30/2003 $2,000.00
Abbott Laboratories
President and Chief Operating Officer, Pharmaceutical Products Group
BUSH-CHENEY '04 INC

FREYMAN, THOMAS C.
9/22/2003 $2,000.00
Abbott Laboratories
Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer
BUSH-CHENEY '04 INC

BABINGTON, CATHERINE V.
9/24/2003 $2,000.00
Abbott Laboratories
Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Public Affairs
BUSH-CHENEY '04 INC

LEAVENWORTH, ELAINE R.
9/25/2003 $2,000.00
Abbott Laboratories
Corporate Vice President, Washington government affairs
BUSH-CHENEY '04 INC

NEMMERS, JOSEPH M.
9/24/2003 $2,000.00
Abbott Laboratories
Senior Vice President, Diagnostic Operations
BUSH-CHENEY '04 INC

WYATT, LANCE B.
9/24/2003 $2,000.00
Abbott Laboratories
Seniors Vice President, Specialty Products
BUSH-CHENEY '04 INC

In addition, the Abbott Laboratories PAC was one of the early maximum givers
to Bush’s 2004 campaign, donating the maximum $5,000 on 6/23/03.



 


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