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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Washington Post Is Confused: Pharmaceutical Industry Lobbyists Try to Increase Profits, not Improve Global Health

Washington Post Is Confused: Pharmaceutical Industry Lobbyists Try to Increase Profits, not Improve Global Health

Saturday, 15 March 2014 08:13

The Washington Post finds politics to be very confusing. It apparently thinks that the people paid high six or even seven figure salaries to lobby for the pharmaceutical industry are humanitarians trying to advance global health. 

Toward the end of an article on efforts by drug companies to get stronger patent-type protections in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) the Post told readers:

"But pharmaceutical industry advocates worry that without strong global rules, the drug development process will suffer."

Of course the industry advocates say they "worry" that drug development will suffer, just as the defense lawyer always says her client is innocent. Just as lawyers are paid to defend their clients, lobbyists are paid to promote the case for their client. Newspaper reporters and editors should understand this fact.

It would also be worth mentioning that the protections being pushed by the pharmaceutical industry in this deal will likely worsen inequality and lead to fewer jobs for workers in the United States. They will transfer more money to the shareholders and top executives of the drug companies. They will also leave consumers in the countries who are parties to the TPP with less money to buy U.S. made products.

Comments (8)Add Comment
written by Alex Bollinger, March 15, 2014 9:14
It may be obvious but I still see so many people unwilling to accept that corporations maximize profit. It's like it never dawns on them that a company doesn't just sell something to make money, but everything it does is focused on making more money.

It's even more heretical to claim that people's policy preferences are not just, by chance, what will get them the most money, but that there's a strong possibility of a causal relationship.
written by djb, March 15, 2014 9:41
That explains that feeling of helplessness I always get when I read articled like that
written by Jim, March 15, 2014 1:18
I think a better analogy would be: That;s like saying pimps worry that without laws prohibiting prostitution, prostitutes will be less concerned about the transmission of STDs.
It's only important to some people
written by Jennifer, March 15, 2014 2:36
For the United States, the economic stakes are direct, and they show how U.S. officials hope to use the TPP to shape the landscape for industries considered central to the U.S.’s economic future.

Really they mean "central" to the 1% interests.
If Extortion Prices are Not Paid, Everyone Will Suffer From Lower Prices
written by Last Mover, March 15, 2014 3:40

Uh huh, the drug development process will "suffer", the health care process will "suffer", the internet development process will "suffer", financial innovation will "suffer" ... the list goes on about what will "suffer" if America dares interfere with the freedom of prices to rise in the private sector.

As sock puppets for economic predators know well - and economists too - the only way to get more of something is to raise the price isn't it. The only alternative is to suffer with less of it.

That's why America has more drugs, more health care, more broadband service, more financial services, more of everything in fact than any other country in the world. Heh.

Let supply prices soar like an eagle America. If anyone dares contradict this principle with say, you know, something so quaint, old fashioned and socialist as effective free market competition that can actually discipline supply prices to keep them from rising to collect monopoly rents rather than actually produce more of a good thing ...

... then you will the pay the price America. In fact, you will pay much lower prices for the same quality won't you. And you will suffer greatly for the pleasure of doing this won't you.

You deserve to suffer America, for not allowing economic predators to take your jobs, your income, your wealth, so they too can share in the prosperity of this great country only they can create - with higher prices extorted from you for their services.
Very charitable, Dean
written by ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©, March 15, 2014 3:45
The WaPo is no more confused than the lobbyists.

They're corporate whores.
Newspeak doesn't recognize human traits, it assumes all good comes from policy incentives
written by Dave, March 15, 2014 10:14
This is a very disturbing trend in news. Reporters of old would have recognized this immediately. Today's reporters have heard this programming since birth.

The fact is that most drug breakthroughs of the greatest benefit to health are the result of non-profit entities. Most breakthroughs of the greatest significance to profits come from the drug companies. This is a good example of motives that barely overlap, and unfortunately, our president seems completely hoodwinked by the drug companies.
written by djb, March 16, 2014 6:28
there is an article in ny times about a treatment for hepatitis c that costs 168,000 for 6 months treatment in US but in india it costs 2000 dollars

it is covered by insurance in US

is it possible that the same people who own the insurance companies also own the pharmaceutical companies, ensuring the pharmaceuticals gouging profits??

paid for of course by increased premiums

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.