My 30+ years in the medical industry gave me insight on one of the biggest public health issues our nation is dealing with.
Many Americans are overprescribed medication that they don’t necessarily need.
As an oncology nurse, seeing patients placed on medication after medication to combat side effects of other treatment was distressing.
Even worse, chronic treatment meant a daily cocktail of prescription drugs for many of my patients.
Not only is this pattern expensive, but it’s ruining our health.
In a shocking interview, Yahoo! Finance got insider perspective on the pharmaceutical industry with Dr. Raeford Brown, pediatrician and chair of the FDA Committee on Analgesics and Anesthetics.
Dr. Brown revealed that Big Pharma has a lobbying relationship with Congress that is dangerous to drug regulation.
“The pharmaceutical industry pours millions of dollars into the legislative branch every single year,” he told Yahoo Finance. “In 2016, they put $100 million into the elections. That’s a ton of money.”Dr. Raeford Brown
To put this in more concrete terms, OpenSecret.org listed the 20 biggest benefactors of Big Pharma in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The member with the largest pharmaceutical lobby contribution was Democratic senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. He was paid a whopping $532, 859 in the 2017-2018 election cycle.
Republican House member Greg Walden of Oregon came in a close second, making $460, 200 from Big Pharma in the same election cycle.
“Congress is supposed to have oversight for the FDA,” Brown said. “If the FDA isn’t going to hold pharma accountable, and Congress is getting paid to not hold pharma accountable, then it really doesn’t matter who the president is because it’s really about Congress.”
Call to Action
The facts tell us that all parts of Congress – Senate and House members, Democrats and Republicans – get significant donations from the pharmaceutical industry.
When I think of my overmedicated patients, I think of the influence Big Pharma has on lawmakers.
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