Menendez and Lautenberg Favor Pharma Profits Over Consumers

Favoring Big Pharma profits over NJ consumers and rational health care reform, Launtenberg and Menendez voted against an amendment:

The drug importation amendment to the health reform bill, which would have saved the government and consumers billions of dollars by allowing prescription purchases from Canada and elsewhere, was killed in the Senate late Tuesday with an assist from the FDA letter. The 51-48 vote fell short of the 60 votes needed.

The letter from FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg that raised the specter of “significant safety concerns” not fully addressed in the amendment was seized on by opponents of the measure. “This is a matter of life or death,” pleaded Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). (We’ve posted the letter here.)

Perhaps worse, some argue that the Obama White House politically intervened and used independent FDA to kill it:



Vote tally:


Comment (1)

  1. Nick Lento

    They both caved in to the raw greed that drives the pharmaceutical industry and voted against the interests of the PEOPLE of New Jersey.

    Lautenberg must think we are all stupid and ignorant if he expects anyone to believe the bullshit line that allowing folks to buy imported drugs would kill people



    “Hearing rumors of an FDA letter opposing his amendment last week, Dorgan called Hamburg to inquire about that matter. She told him that she didn’t know of any letter. Then, just 24 hours later, on Dec. 8, the letter went out, signed by Hamburg, to two senators opposing the amendment.

    This string of events, Dorgan asserts, shows “the letter was prompted, probably drafted somewhere else [like] the White House.”

    Asked about Dorgan’s timeline by TPMmuckraker, FDA spokesperson Meghan Scott did not say it was inaccurate. “The Commissioner did speak to Sen. Dorgan in the days before the letter was sent,” Scott says. “On that call, she expressed the FDA’s concerns, but at the time, no decision had been made on whether or not to send a letter.”

    Scott adds that the letter was sent in response to an inquiry by Sens. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Tom Carper (D-DE). And she argues that the letter is consistent with the FDA’s past position on drug importation.

    Bryan Dorgan is NOT some wild eyed Bolshevik!!!  He’s far more credible than the white house on this issue.

    Obama ran on allowing just this kind of cost savings (and downward pressure on drug costs) tactic…and now that he’s in office he kow tows to pharma and uses the FDA to advance the breaking of a campaign promise.  The quid pro quos are transparent on this one.  Shame!!!

    At this rate Obama is on his way to being a one term president.   At this point I have to wonder if he’s not looking forward to making a few hundred million a year as a CEO of an Insurance Cartel?


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