Washington Updates: What Matters To Your Senator - Money or Freedom?
By Nurse Mark
US Senate sells out American Citizens health
freedom to Big Pharma
How many of you remember the '60's? Go
on, raise your hands... Things were gentler then, and there was still a little
bit of innocence left in America.
Sonny and Cher (Remember them? Sure you do!) sang a
hit tune "And The Beat Goes On" which recognized the fact that there really
isn't anything new under the sun when it comes to human behavior. This is such a
universal truth that modern-day pop singer Britney Spears has done a rehash of
this popular piece.
Well, the beat goes on
in Washington too, with the struggle for control of your health, your wellness,
your medicines and your wallets.
we announced a small victory with
quashing of the FDA's "CAM Guidelines". But the beat goes on.
I said last week that neither the FDA nor Big Pharma
would rest in their efforts to maintain their profits and power, and indeed,
this week has seen this struggle evolve.
Last week your senators voted unanimously to curb CAM. This week found them
dealing with drug and profit related matters again, and the outcome was
different: This week it was S. 1082 "the 2007 Prescription Drug User Fee bill"
that claims to reform the FDA and enhance drug safety. The real battle was not
so much the bill itself, but the amendments that each side is attempting to tack
on to it. The "Dorgan Amendment", which would have effectively broken the
monopoly of the US Pharmaceutical Giants was voted on, and it turns out that 28
of your senators voted to kill the amendment, and to enforce the pharmaceutical
monopoly that keeps Big Pharma in control of virtually the entire U.S. drug
market. Fortunately, 62 of your senators sided with you in voting to break the
Big Pharma monopoly and allow free trade for medicines, so the amendment passed.
Was this good? Yes, of course it was!
Was this the end of it? Of course NOT!
Some sources report that President Bush has promised
to veto the bill if the Dorgan amendment stands. He obviously is more concerned
with protecting Big Pharma's monopoly and profits than with your health -
physical of financial.
Not that this is
likely to matter, for we're informed that the successful Dorgan Amendment was
countered by another amendment which effectively nullifies it... The Senate
adopted an amendment by Senator Cochrane which requires the government (the FDA)
to certify the safety of all imported drugs. Since the FDA cannot effectively do
this, and likely wouldn't even if they could, you can kiss goodbye any thoughts
of having access to cheaper drugs from other countries.
In any event, the senate has ended debate on all
these amendments now and today voted 93 to 1 to pass S. 1802 - perpetuating the
user fees that allow Big Pharma to buy "protection" from the FDA and creating
the Reagan-Udall Foundation allowing the FDA to hold patents and allowing the
FDA to license technology to drug companies – effectively turning the FDA into a
drug company with vested interests in specific medicines.
A most worrisome thing about this bill is that it's
language is vague - vague enough to be twisted by the FDA into almost anything
they want - like subjecting foods and supplements to the same regulations as
drugs! All was not lost though, thanks to the hue and cry raised by many
thousands of concerned and informed Americans like yourselves, assurances are
now officially entered in the Congressional Record that this legislation is not
to be used to harass dietary supplements.
Where to now?
The bill now moves to the
House and then to a conference committee. This legislation is being rammed
through as quickly as possible in the hopes that the general public can be kept
in the dark about it's true intent. Please don't think that the mainstream media
who depend on advertising dollars from Big Pharma will report the true meaning
of S1082. We at the Wellness Club will continue to follow this, and will do our
best to keep you updated.
You can still do something - you can contact your
representatives through this link:
http://www.house.gov/writerep/ - and you can tell them to "Leave our foods
and supplements alone!"
This legislation has nothing to do with "safety"
and everything to do with perpetuating and increasing the power of the FDA,
safeguarding the obscene profits of the Drug Companies and stripping the last
vestiges of medical freedom of choice from Americans.