Saturday Night Owls: Rep. Katie Porter releases report on the unhealthiness of Big Pharma mergers

Saturday Night Owls: Rep. Katie Porter releases report on the unhealthiness of Big Pharma mergers

Night Owls is a themed open thread appearing at Daily Kos seven days a week.

Brett Wilkins at Common Dreams writes—New Report From Rep. Katie Porter Reveals How Big Pharma Pursues ‘Killer Profits’ at the Expense of Americans’ Health“It’s time we reevaluate the standards for approving these mergers. It’s time we pass legislation to lower drug prices. And it’s time we rethink the structure of leadership at big pharmaceutical companies.”

Rep. Katie Porter on Friday published a damning report revealing the devastating effects of Big Pharma mergers and acquisitions on U.S. healthcare, and recommending steps Congress should take to enact “comprehensive, urgent reform” of an integral part of a broken healthcare system.

The report, entitled Killer Profits: How Big Pharma Takeovers Destroy Innovation and Harm Patients, begins by noting that “in just 10 years, the number of large, international pharmaceutical companies decreased six-fold, from 60 to only 10.”

While pharmaceutical executives often attempt to portray such consolidation as a means to increase operational efficiency, the report states that “digging a level deeper ‘exposes a troubling industry-wide trend of billions of dollars of corporate resources going toward acquiring other pharmaceutical corporations with patent-protected blockbuster drugs instead of putting those resources toward’ discovery of new drugs.”

Merger and acquisition (M&A) deals are often executed to “boost stock prices,” to “stop competitors,” and to “acquire an innovative blockbuster drug with an enormous prospective revenue stream.”

“Instead of spending on innovation, Big Pharma is hoarding its money for salaries and dividends,” the report says, “all while swallowing smaller companies, thus making the marketplace far less competitive.” […]

“Competition is central to capitalism,” Porter said in a press release introducing the report. “As our report shows, Big Pharma has little incentive to invest in new, critically needed drugs. Instead, pharmaceutical giants are free to devote their resources to acquiring smaller companies that might otherwise force them to compete.”

“Lives are on the line; it’s clear the federal government needs to reform how it evaluates healthcare mergers and patent abuses,” Porter added. […]

THREE OTHER ARTICLES WORTH READING

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BLAST FROM THE PAST

On this date at Daily Kos in 2003—No conclusive evidence:

Well, even as administration officials hype Powell’s “Adlai moment” at the UN next week, there is still some dampening of expectations:

Officials cautioned that no one photo or piece of evidence will conclusively prove the administration’s case; instead, they describe what they say will be an accumulation of damning details. ”What we’re showing is a pattern of behavior,” a senior administration official said. ”You’re not going to have pictures of warheads.

I think I am finally resolved to the fact that war is inevitable. It’s a shame that Bush is so hell-bent on going to war that he will risk the lives of thousands to do so, and all on circumstantial evidence.

Obviously Saddam is a brutal dictator, and I’m sure he’s got things to hide. But is he a threat to U.S. national security—worth throwing away lives and treasure to depose? That case has not been made. And it won’t be made. But that’s irrelevant to an administration that keeps using discarded “evidence” of a nuclear program (the aluminum tubes) and a hypothetical link to Al Qaeda to justify a war that even super-hawks like Normal Schwarzkopf won’t buy.

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