Not just Sinema: Pharma’s million-dollar-man Bob Menendez shoots down House bill to lower drug costs

Not just Sinema: Pharma’s million-dollar-man Bob Menendez shoots down House bill to lower drug costs


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This is ridiculous. I've been seeing pharma sponsored TV commercials talking about the horrors this would cause. Ludicrous. One this morning was a "Canadian" family talking about how they couldn't get the life saving drugs they need in Toronto. "Don't let this happen in the US". What garbage...


Straight up lies. Remember when the tobacco industry sent a bunch of top Executives to Congress to testify that there was no evidence tobacco was addictive? They have no problem lying in any venue.


Or how another big pharma company spent years deceiving literally everyone including the FDA into believing that their new opiate was somehow not addicting, how addictions are actually just "pseudo-addictions" and sufferers just need a higher dose of the opiates, and then spent several decades trying to deny that their pills are causing problems and instead blaming the people who got addicted for the problems? If not, there's a great new series on it on Hulu...


What's the name of the show?


Dope Sick


I 1000% agree that both things are deceptive and morally abhorrent…but as someone who works in health policy and specializes in drug regulation/pricing, I would just caution that they are very, *very* different types of predatory actions, and believe that it’s actually unhelpful to lump them together. Criminality like the pushing of opioids and aggressive sales tactics pushing off label prescribing of atypical antipsychotics is no different that big tobacco efforts to deny the dangers of smoking. Drug pricing and negotiation on the other hand is more akin to old school telephone monopolies or the robber barons - as in: it’s awful and wrong, and causes all kinds of damage to everyday citizens, but is ways more nuanced and complex. For the first case, it’s a matter of prosecuting the shit out of any company who engages in the stuff (and not just throwing down billions in fines, we need some criminal prosecution up and down the corporate structure). For the price stuff, you need to actually get into the meat of the regulatory and legislative framework in order to fix existing market distortions and pro-actively even out the playing field.


When there is no repercussions for lying they'd be stupid not to.


This is really the underpinning issue...if there was actual, legitimate punishment...say, hypothetically of course, if it was on par with selling "loosies" or shoplifting bread...people would think twice about flagrantly lying in court and under oath.


> if it was on par with selling "loosies" or shoplifting bread so...summary execution without trial?


Well I mean if the officers are terrified for their life it's totally legit.


How about citizens? What if we’re afraid?


It's called integrity not stupid.


The politicians and Executives both lie,, we need to stop covering the cost of politicians health care.


Lol…I saw that commercial here in Florida, and I laughed at how blatantly wrong it was.


They have commercials on WTOP radio channel which is a huge station in the DMV area. Dude is like “Don’t let Bernie Sanders and Peloski scam you by giving kick backs to insurance companies” I’m like “what?” I even heard one saying “Biden is undermining the Americans scientists who work hard on making the vaccine by giving the vaccine away to other countries” I don’t listen to WTOP anymore due to the paid ads


Lol, we're dying over here, halp!


Something something communism!


I mean, we really do need to get the Pharmacare program shoved through, but that’s another issue. And as an aside, work in the policy area - although mostly internationally - and while I have my quibbles, would say that on the whole I’m pretty damn happy with it. No regulation is perfect, and there are some aspects that may negatively impact those with rare (but not orphan) diseases…but overall it offers smart, realistic savings through sensible mechanisms.


This is exactly why the "blame Sinema and Manchin" point of view is seeping in naïveté. They're just the spotlight senators meant to take the heat, behind them are a swathe of democrat senators pumped with Pharma, Exxon and insurance money that will absolutely halt any progress. For every Sinema and Manchin there is a Menendez, Booker, Coons, Feinstein waiting in the grass.


Yep. Sinema rightfully gets hate, but it isnt like we are dealing with 48 noncorrupt people.


Exactly! Not to mention the Executive Orders Biden could issue that could change things for Americans right away, and he just won't. Republicans take power and use every little bit of it to push through their agenda. Democrats get into power and start hemming and hawing over process and decorum and whether or not it's appropriate, while Americans suffer and suffer and suffer because Republicans are unafraid to use power when they have it, and Democrats simply don't want to seem impolite.


Yep Biden could allow drug importation from Canada tomorrow. Congress granted that power decades ago to the FDA, a department Biden now controls. They just haven't done it. Obama even lied and said it wasn't safe. To which one senator, a Republican, said "where are the dead Canadians"? Canada has the same production standards as the US


Sorry, work in this policy area and think that everything about US drug pricing regulation is insane…but that just doesn’t work at a practical or political level, and Biden is totally right not to lean on Canadian imports and crutch/stopgap. And yeah, there are all kind of reasons why there shouldn’t be *additional* regulation about drug imports from Canada just because of the mechanics of the supply chain and distribution mechanisms…but doing that at any kind of scale was always a cheap cop-out that was always about *protecting* predatory US pharma pricing and just coasting off Canada’s willingness to actual engage in real governance in this area (which, as an aside is also just crazy: relying on foreign nation’s drug policies is literally a threat to national security). It’s a wildly complex area, and doesn’t get the depth or accuracy of coverage that is so, so necessary, but as someone with a deep well of rage over pretty much every aspect of the business side of US drug development and regulation, I would just urge you to be wary in your assessments of what is good vs bad policy - it’s often not all that intuitive, and like many areas, needs a fair amount of background just to understand the mechanisms at play.


Yep. I still hope democrats to win as the lesser of two evils, but i honestly have no argument for people who decide to stay home. If they arent going to deliver for their voters, hard to expect people to show up for you.


TIL democrats are Canadians in disguise.


the reason it's siname and manchin is because they only needed two. if dems had a 4-seat majority, there would be four democrats standing in the way of progress instead of just two




Non progressive dems cannot be trusted they all must be replaced.


Just to be fair, the same can also be said for every Republican senator. It's not as if Dems are the sole roadblock.


It is not part of the Republican National Platform to do any of these things. It is part of the Democrat National Platform. So no, its not fair, at all.


I have a family member who's always going on about "wait times" in Canada and how bad their healthcare system is because it's "socialized medicine." We're American. However, he's always citing his father who lives in Quebec near the US border as proof of his claims against how much better our healthcare system is than Canada's, and how Canadians don't like their system. His father in Quebec also says the same things, which apparently is proof it's all true. That Canadian father is also very, very conservative and very old. So is this family member of mine. I wonder if that has any relevance....


Quebec is the worst though, so don’t trust anything coming from a Quebecois. 😜


Ontario government is paying for My cosentyx. It costs several thousand dollars a month. I actually don't even know the real cost because I don't pay for it. Trillium drug benefit saved my life! Canadian Health Care is great! Not perfect but still great.


I've heard the same from every Canadian I've spoken to about this, as well as every Aussie, and Kiwi, and Brit. Polls say the same, for all countries. People like my family member and his father believe BS propaganda and ignore everything else. The one and only person I've heard say Canada's is terrible and US's privatized healthcare is much better is that one old conservative from Quebec. Literally every other person I talk to and survey I see from Canada AND other countries says the opposite. US healthcare is so god awful it's literally hard for some people in other countries to BELIEVE when we tell them how it works/what things cost. They sure as hell don't think it's better and want it for their country.


Eh, Québec has some unique challenges around healthcare, and at various points/in some regions has had it’s stumbles. …but that’s a regional political thing and not a condemnation of the system as a whole. Also: lived there as a kid and for college and got great care, but remember my grandmother getting substandard care about twenty years ago, so it ebbs and flows. Otherwise, the “but the wait times” is mostly hot trash and simply untrue in the aggregate.


I mean, my parents have to pay 1k a month for my brothers epilepsy meds up here in BC. Meds can be expensive up here, just mostly subsidized by gov. Mind, i haven’t seen those commercials, so i could have gotten the tone of the comment wrong.


Yup, and the one thing I’m looking for in this parliamentary session is for the pharmacare bill to go through. It’s not perfect (nothing ever is) but has some solid, well developed mechanisms specifically targeted at controlling/lowering costs for costly therapies for chronic conditions (like your brother’s anti-epileptics, and therapies for MS, arthritis, that kind of stuff).


Those dummies, Toronto has all the drugs. What’d they need? I prolly got it in my purse.


Yeah big pharma is evil. Every negative thing said about them is true and they deserve all the hate they get.


There’s ads in this very article (filling all the ad slots in my browser) saying the same and taking you to a petition stating the same. So dirty, such convoluted logic


I just moved back to the states from Toronto a couple years ago. There is absolutely NOTHING you cannot get medically in Toronto that you can get in the US. (Apart from a few drugs that Canadian health officials have deemed unsafe that are still legal in the US). This person is full of shit.


take it from someone living in Toronto; that is complete bullshit! is our healthcare perfect? Nope! does it need major overhauls and improvements? Yup! the other thing that never gets talked about is that having a public healthcare option is not a one-and-done solution. the fight is not over once it's signed into law. it will create decades of debate and fighting from each side trying to wrestle benefits in or out of the system... turns out, for example, my mouth bones are luxury items and not covered, neither is my psychological wellbeing. we are currently fighting to get mental and dental included.


I live in Australia and back in the pre ... uh other means days, I used to have a friend email me video tapes with the latest Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel episodes (for some reason, our PAL VHS recorders almost all had NTSC converters). So they'd have US commercials and I was a medical student then graduated during this time and the drug commercials were the weirdest thing for me as such things are banned here for prescription drugs. It's the strangest thing for us.


I see the same thing in CNN constantly, it's bizarre. Why would I talk to my family doctor about drugs, he sees my blood work, he knows what I need.


I love how this is illegal in other countries


Illegal in *every other country*…except New Zealand. What’s up with that NZ?!


Oh fuck that noise. Am Canadian, but was working in health policy in the US during the original “death panel” hysteria, and this kind of especially malignant and dishonest propaganda makes me see red. Any chance you remember what faux “concerned citizens for xxxx” group was pushing the ad? Am really curious to see if it’s still the same basic funders a decade later (I mean, obviously the cash is flowing out of the ALEC network, I mean the people who are actually putting in the work). Even just the state where it’s airing would help me narrow it down - cheers!


>remember I have seen it here in Illinois


Cheers, going to see if I can find out who is currently playing stormtrooper.


Oh it goes deeper than that. My dad recently touted that under Medicare for All, going to the hospital would like going to the DMV. His source? My sister broke an arm during a semester in Australia a few years ago. It took a whopping 4 hours to see a doctor and have a cast put on. I had an EMERGENCY APPENDECTOMY a few months ago, and with full insurance it took almost 9 hours between when I walked into the ER and my surgery started. I was literally writhing in pain for about 3 hours in an ER waiting room (at a really nice hospital) waiting for the CT scan and then for my CT results to come back before they finally got me to a hospital bed


Why do you think all those pharma ads dropped after all those debates and suddenly cancelled Bernie news reports on ABC/et all


You mean Bob Menendez who was recently on trial for corruption? It can’t be!


Whom and I can't express this enough, was supported by lots of establishment Dems. I'm not gonna say Dems are as bad as Reps, but this guy was 1000% guilty and only escaped prosecution because they couldn't tie any specific bribe to his congressional activities which more or less makes corruption legal. This is on every single Dem who supported this piece of trash.


Franken didn't even get an investigation. Menendez should have been booted for the appearance of impropriety.


Even I remember this and I'm Australian. In Australia.


Yup. They're not the same, and before people start lecturing me, I vote blue. But establishment and "moderate" Dems are generally corrupt scum who serve their corporate donors, give the appearance of change to placate the voters, and fight to make sure no serious systemic change ever happens. Yes, I vote for them, and yes, they're much better than the GOP. But being better than even MORE corrupt, actual traitors and xenophobic fascists isn't exactly a high bar, nor is that in itself good enough for you to get away with being so shitty and corrupt. How about (crazy idea here), we get a choice between corrupt fascists and a party that actually fights for progress and for average voters, rather than a choice between corrupt fascists and a little less corrupt non-fascists?


I believe ranked choice would eliminate most of these corrupt Dems because for once we wouldn't need to worry about "voting a lesser evil".


In certain circumstances I could easily see corporate Dems sharing notes and talking points with the GOP candidates, so that they are #1 and #2 on most voters' ballots.


Democrats and Republicans agree on one thing wholeheartedly, two parties is enough.


> This is on every single Dem who supported this piece of trash. Except the alternative was a republican. And I do think you are overstating the case against him


So accepting over $1mil in gifts including private plane rides and a Rolex is hunky-dory? Also the alternative wasn't a republican. Democrats filled this asshole's pockets with cash during primary season as well. Could've withheld funds and picked a responsible person to represent Democrats. At a certain point this isn't "best of a bad situation" this is openly tolerating corruption.


No need to compare how bad Dems are vs Reps, just recognize this: Both are operating in bad faith.


Some say the Dems are worse because they destroy any ability for a progressive to ever get into real power. Didn't really believe that till I saw the primary this cycle. Republicans give Democrats money to stop progressives. I'm fairly certain that's really all the Democratic party is even for. Just a Republican front to stop any change while allowing a venting period between trickle down ratchets. Biden is only here to act as a placeholder, reduce the deficit to gdp ratio just enough for another round of tax cuts for corporations after Biden.


> Some say the Dems are worse because they destroy any ability for a progressive to ever get into real power. Didn't really believe that till I saw the primary this cycle. Yup, ditto. In my teenage years, I knew something was fucky and blamed the obvious bad actors. Now, things seem to have come full circle and I can see it for the theater it really is. Democrats are the Republican apologists and Republicans are the Democrat scapegoats. Neither "party" exists in opposition of the other. All people involved are happy with the results: money in their pocket.


No, there are plenty of good Senators and Representatives. Tammy Baldwin AOC to name two.


> AOC Present


I disagree. In fact, I believe that anyone involved in a corrupt and oppressive system is bad. There can be no good actors in a system of bad faith. It's not that I don't support the caricature of AOC or what it represents, it's just that the results are never any different. In the end, the involvement of people like Bernie or AOC, or anyone that gives US citizens the impression that things _could_ be different, is bad because things will never be different. This system will not be reformed and cannot benefit the will of the people. It was only designed to entrap and enslave.


> There can be no good actors in a system of bad faith. If voting is also inherently corrupt then how do you fix the system?


So you got a plan to fix this system? Or are you settling for bitching about it on Reddit?


And have been for quite some time. Yet for whatever reason we’re naive enough every 4 years to think the next president is the US Savior lmao


Is this guy a Dem? I don’t know anything about him. Is this just his turn in the spotlight?


Yeah he's a democrat and he's been around for a while quietly filling his pockets. He votes pretty reliably Dem except when his own paycheck is threatened.


Remember, state and federal government spends billions educating the scientists and building the schools and funding the grants that make pharma research possible. Also, pharma companies are so profitable that they spend more on marketing and lobbying than they do on the R&D that is supposedly funded by their exhorbitant prices. Poor americans pay taxes too, and they should be able to access the drugs that their taxes paid for. But that is not the case for many right now.


Yep Biden could use March in rights to lower prescription drug costs tomorrow since most drugs are developed with taxpayer money. Obviously he won't do this.


Sorry, I work in this policy area, and think basically every aspect of US drug and HC pricing regulation is fucking insane…and don’t see any workable “solutions” that could be achieved through executive order. Best case scenario, it would be performative nonsense - not even a bandaid on a bullet would, but more like a pretty picture of a bandaid on a bullet wound. Worst case scenario it would fuck up supply chains, maybe start a few trade wars, and still not actually change things. This is can really one be achieved through actual legislation, and the responsibility/blame lies at the congressional level. Well, maybe also through magic - have they tried magic?


Appeal to authority isn't going to convince me. March in rights can be used to lower prices. Many experts agree: https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20210428.519540/full/ Why should I trust a random redditor using vague industry talking points over actual experts?


I’m a PhD chemist and during my PhD so many people would be excited for big pharma jobs and I’d be like 🥴


Pharma companies also make about the same profits in the US and the rest of the world combined. Let that sink in... HALF their worldwide profits is from one country that is less than 5% of the world population.


Big Pharma and Big Business own these politicians outright. This has been going on for decades now, with no end in sight.


Fuck big pharma. Bunch of greedy killers. Knowingly hiking the prices of medications knowing there’s families that can’t afford treatment inevitability killing them. How shit like this dosent cause an uproar is beyond me.


I would be saying fuck Menendez…he’s the guy preventing change


Yea he’s definitely included in that, but there’s more than just one person behind the scenes coming to this decision. Doubt he would put himself on a pedestal if other leadership didn’t agree with him.


These assholes need to go. Just make sure they get replaced with a democrat that thinks for the country and not themselves.


Big pharma and these assholes have been around through republican and democratic parties. If you think this is a political issue you are very naive. Stop thinking politicians are saviors, they’re not and never have been.


We should still try to vote out the obviously shitty ones and replace them with better ones. Not a controversial stance.


Yes but blaming republicans or democrats for something that has gone on through countless terms is naive. Definitely agree with voting the best option, just think a lot of time that is clouded due to stance on political party and that shouldn’t be the case


You simply cannot trust republicans anymore, they have proven all they care about is power and authoritarianism. They cannot be voted in under any circumstances.


It's funny how Dems passed HR3 under Trump and a Republican Senate. That was when Republicans were in power and getting the most money from pharma. Now that Dems are in charge, they are getting the most money from pharma and block their own bill. It's just political theater designed to fundraise. And the funds won't even help Dems stay in power. It's a grift where the funds somehow end up in the coffers of the politicians and their family and Republicans take back over anyway.


Never ending cycle of greed. Unfortunately, not just in the medical field either.


Well, folks have to stop being stupid about voting in republicans. They have taken us for a ride every time, they screw things up, Dems fix it and get blamed. A never ending cycle of shooting yourself in the foot. Kinda like committing suicide to solve your problems.


Yeah Dems don't really fix it though and are often complicit. Biden helped Reagan cut the tax rate on the wealthy in half. Clinton didn't undo that. It's a ratcheting system. Dems are just placeholders who implement some austerity to lower debt to GDP ratio before the next Republican gov takes back over. I blame the media the most though for normalizing all of it


I mean, I work in the field and am as cynical as it gets…and I wouldn’t say that it’s a *bad* bill, just not a particularly effective one. And the focus of the legislation is getting at an area that is currently a total clusterfuck (Medicare negotiations)…it’s just missing some pretty key pieces that most experts agree are necessary to achieve what it says on the package. (It’s also a tepid half measure that doesn’t target any of the structural regulatory factors that we know are more powerful drivers of drug prices…but that’s another kettle of fish). So yeah: I have no idea if Menendez’s criticism come from a place of sincerity, or from a more nefarious place… but he’s not *wrong*.


> just not a particularly effective one Cool so what do other countries do to spend half or less on pharma? It seems they all allow their version of medicare to negotiate drug pricing and they all normally extend that to the private market. So why is that effective for them and not the US? The other missing piece I see is pharma ads. Biden could limit those right now with executive power. Clinton used executive power to increase pharma ads. Every other country doesn't allow those on TV >So yeah: I have no idea if Menendez’s criticism come from a place of sincerity, or from a more nefarious place… but he’s not wrong. I mean compared to every real world example, to every other major country, even Russia, he is wrong. Pretty bad when Democrats are more beholden to fringe lobbyists than a Republican oligarch who does allow the government to negotiate and set prices. I get Dems aren't going to be as democratic as Canada or Europe. But even Russia doesn't let pharma do this.


>> Cool so what do other countries do to spend half or less on pharma? It seems they all allow their version of medicare to negotiate drug pricing and they all normally extend that to the private market. So why is that effective for them and not the US? So: the details around things like the level of government at which price negotiations occur and the structure of these negotiations and contracts varies quite a bit by market: the UK has the NHS, NICE and the PPRS at the national levels + PCTs locally; Germany has the GBA and IqWIG at the national level, then decentralized sickness funds, then AMNOG as a quasi arbitration body; Canada has the PMBRB for pro forma international benchmarking, then CADTH and PCODR at the national level, then provincial Health Agencies at the provincial level; and so on and so on. And that’s simplifying things. And you know what? In terms of the 10000 ft view of how they “negotiate drug prices”…the same basic parameters are fundamentally the same everywhere. It’s just a business (pharma) on one side of the table vs a payor on the other. HR3 is trying to make sure that US negotiations are on more even footing, but even given the some of the weird particularities of US law, they’re still *basically* the same as everywhere else. Yes, it’s good to make them better/more structurally favorable for Medicare as a payor l, but it doesn’t really change much. The *actual* difference between the US and all those other countries all about that list of acronyms I rattled off up top: again, they are all slightly different but do things like legally benchmark maximum price to an explicit “basket” of comparator countries, and conduct sweeping, highly technical assessments of the the relative medical “value” of a drug and set pricing recommendations at the government level…and that’s just the basic stuff. These are major major government agencies that are hugely important parts of the HC infrastructure, and the US just doesn’t have *anything*. That is the difference, and any combination/variation of that kind of thing is the only way to achieve significantly lower prices. Well that and magic, have they tried magic? Unless and until the US is willing to create whole new agencies, and empower them to do things like set prices and publish reports just tearing apart the relative uselessness of yet another MS drug in a crowded field, everything else is basically just window dressing. You might get some fringe benefits and a couple of hundred million in savings so it’s not like it’s a *bad* thing, but it wouldn’t change much and *definitely* wouldn’t help keep prices in line with every other country.


Oh no, politicians are people, meaning severely flawed. The thing is, regular folks have been going with the flow for so long the government has been allowed to become what it is. For decades only the politically motivated have bothered voting. For republicans, they used the carrot and stick of abortion. This leads to minority rule. Republicans spent 40 years positioning themselves for minority rule. This is not a short game anymore. Elections matter and that is what scares politicians the most. Nothing they hate more than an engaged public. Look how scared they are of the small trumpy base. Look how hard they try to keep folks from voting. This can change if folks want it to.


100%. Power in the hands of the people have politicians shook.




Ok, we got a couple assholes, every fucking trumpy Republican is an asshole these days and a traitor and a supporter of treason. Oh and as far as corporations go, the republicans give them trillions every time.


Primary these corrupt extremists: >But Politico reported last Friday that pressure from pharma-backed lawmakers, including Menendez, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., and Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., is likely to force Democrats to make major concessions on the number of drugs that could be negotiated.


We don't need fake "Representatives", who only represent their lobbyists.


I really want them to be asked on camera why they're against it. it doesn't really cost us anything to lower drug prices for everyone.


I swear to god, big industry coordinates.... So for any big issue that would impact their bottom line, they have just enough votes to undercut it...


A few Democrats plus all 50 Republicans. To be clear ... all Republicans consistently vote against the interest of the American people.


It’s way more than “a few”


Even if it's 10 (hopefully less) out of 50 Democratic senators, the fact remains that virtually all Republicans in the Senate and House of Representatives are committed to helping the pharmaceutical industry bleed Americans poor. They talk about freedom but it's only a gimmic because they view the American people as a captive market that they sell out every chance they get.


Republican voters don't care because Republican voters don't really care about economic issues. They just care about Culture War bullshit.


This is really the ONLY thing the dems should focus on running on. Don’t talk about how you’re going to do it, nobody cares, just talk about how you’ll fight for it. How you’ll “take it to big pharma companies driving up medicine costs” etc. Run the ads in republican areas. Run them nonstop. “Republicans are working overtime to increase your prescription costs. Big money bill bills for you. Stop the republican corruption. Stop big medicine bills” etc etc. Dont apologize. Don’t play the middle. Hammer the crap out of them. Of course it’s all wishful thinking. Dems are to weak and spineless to attack.


Bob Menendez is a Democrat. They're largely not honestly in favor of it either.


Yes, he's one of a handful of Democrats fighting this. Meanwhile, every single Republican is fighting it.


Problem is there are plenty of Dems who also won't stop Big Pharma. It's hard to run ads against them when Republicans can point to Dems like Menendez and Booker and say, why can't the Democrats pass this again? Both parties care more about the party than the people, Republicans just don't care as much about pretending.


>This is really the ONLY thing the dems should focus on running on. Don’t talk about how you’re going to do it, nobody cares, just talk about how you’ll fight for it But they don't actually support it and won't fight for it...


A vast majority of democrats support it. The exception to that rule are crooks like Menendez.


And probably 10 more who didn't have to take the PR hit because these 3 are doing it.


Man do your research before making shit like this political. Mfs love to blame opposing political parties for no reason. Big pharma directly drives up prescription costs not Republicans or any political party for that matter. This is a war on big pharma not politics.


The Democrats don't want this to pass either, they just want it to look like they want it to pass. That's why there's a select few scapegoats who always vote no so the rest can say they tried to help but the other side is just too strong. If they really wanted this to pass it would have passed, don't be mistaken.




And Dems are paid off by the same corporations that pay off the Reps.


You mean go back in time and elect Bernie Sanders?


Oh sweet! So happy I get to spend my entire paycheck in order to barely survive.


It is outrageous that Menendez is still around and Al Franken isn't.


Primaries, primaries, primaries. They are honestly 10000x more important than the general elections now. Culture wars don’t permit people to cross party lines anymore, so winning in primaries then forcing neo-liberals to vote for leftist politicians is the only way out of this. At the VERY least we need a clean sweep of all incumbents in congress right now.




Some Democrats are for sale, all Republicans are for sale.


Corruption rules the day. Nice look, Dems.


New Jersey is big Big Pharma country. Bob serves them only. He doesn't serve us, his constituents of New Jersey. If he was a moral, decent human being he could reclaim his soul from them by doing the right thing but he won't. The saddest thing about this is a Republican senator would be worse so we keep reelecting him. If there's a hell we can hope that all senators blocking this bill and the rest of Biden's agenda will be moved to the front of the line for their greedy, self-serving blocking of it.


Exactly, while the Senate is so closely held, for me it was unthinkable to vote for anyone but a Democrat, even a shady one like him. His Republican opponent was an actual ex-CEO of a pharma company.


That's why his last primary opponent pulled in almost 40% of the vote despite having absolutely no ground game, almost no web presence, and no name recognition. I don't even remember her name.


They received their bribe and can't go back. Might even be a bit of blackmail going on with Big Corp.


Bob Menendez is obviously not in public office to work for his constituents and the people of the United States, he's there to be a friend to big pharma and needs to leave public office if he's not willing to go to bat for the people and help bring down the cost of prescription drugs in the United States. We currently pay 250% more for prescription drugs than other countries and an even higher amount for brand name drugs than other countries. Same goes for Kristen Simena, either work for the people or get out of Washington DC!


This is important not only based on this particular topic, but it should remind everyone who's been yelling and screaming about Sinema and Manchin (which you should continue doing) that there's a conga line of equally shitty Senators in our party who would take their place as Worst Senator Ever if they retired or lost their seat. There's way too much money in politics. Corruption and Dark Money should be a top issue for us.


The fact that all this is happening while Dopesick is airing is just too ironic. Pharma companies are NOT research and development organizations, and high drug costs do not lead to better research. Profits = marketing = more profits, completely disregarding the people they are killing through addictions and medical debt. 1/3 of the profits to marketing, 1/3 to lobbying to keep allowing this kind of business practice, and 1/3 to line the pockets of the greed demons running these companies.


Forgot to mention that the largest percentage of new drug information/development of new effects and technologies overwhelmingly are discovered in the public sector, stolen by private firms, and then copyrighted and upscaled in price to an unaffordable level, even if the medicine is literally needed for life or death. Pharma is one of the only sectors of the economy where the profit motive lies not in actually improving the lives of the consumers, b/c if the patients actually get better, they won't need the medicine as much anymore, and profits would plummet. It's all about temporary relief for high prices, and their cronies in Congress are basically giving them the green light for a check.


Absolutely, and purely evil and corrupt. These people aren’t just assholes, they are fucking EVIL.


Torch these fucks in the next election. We need better representation, and laws to keep it that way. Unfortunately, it's likely we will get neither.


I do hate that these people can control everything that can make or break a middle class family.


We the People need to get Corporate money OUT of politics. Looks like you can buy any vote you want, just find the greediest lawmaker, and seal the deal.


how do such horrible people get eleceted


Could someone please describe what their arguments against lowering prices are? American drug prices are astronomical. I get that the Senators are paid by the pharmaceutical lobby, but what does that translate to? What reasoning are they using on the senate floor? Thanks in advance.


Money, and when you put it that way it’s even more disgusting. Families who can’t afford the care literally having to suffer or die as opposed to getting treatment that would cost pennies somewhere else.


>Could someone please describe what their arguments against lowering prices are? $$$$


They're soulless corporate scum. They don't give a shit about human suffering. They actually desire it because more people hurting == more people buying drugs.


The argument is this: If you want incredible new life saving drugs (which US drug companies truly are delivering like never before in history) then you need to incentivize them with money. Also, I haven’t seen evidence that drug companies are much more profitable than any other high tech companies.


You even have the “good guys” fighting against lower prescription drug prices! The Democrats are not making a convincing point on why we should vote for blue in the midterms lol


Manchin and Sinema are just the front men, there are always more waiting in the wings to protect their corporate overlords. The cancer has metastasized.


is this a fucking joke man?


They look like twins


Congress is more addicted to drugs than they would ever admit and it's all there in plain sight.


Ugh, another terrible senator who’s not up for re-election until 2024 😒


There's going to have to be one of these articles every other week until people realize that the Dems aren't filled with mostly good people with two bad actors. Replace Sinema and Manchin with two AOC's, and wouldn't you know, the next "bad" Dem pops up to stop all progress.


Anyone wanna educate me on why “lobbying” or any form of the extremely wealthy essentially paying off government is legal in any way?


What a joke their people as always will get them out of paying taxes as always


Shouldn't Menendez be in prison or something?


This is a main driver of voter apathy among young would be dem voters. They see this horseshit and decide the whole thing is rigged. And at this point it’s hard not to blame them. If you’re a dem lawmaker who’s for lobbying and against lowering drug prices, please go across the isle where you belong.


The covid vaccine is so dumb I'm the type who almost never gets sick and taking the vax nearly killed me I was bed ridden and the sickest I have ever been. Im so glad employer's are forcing people who are not even prone or at serious risk of covid to force themselves to get sick from the vaccine


I mean these pharma people are killing our children and causing suffering to our old. Nationalize them. Obviously they can’t oversee themselves and the big bucks are far too tempting for politicians


Bypass Congress. Let the drugs flow freely


Primary and replace.


How does a democracy allow such autocratic rules?


Sinema and Manchin are fall guys we cannot trust any non progressive Democrat to do the right thing. Biden is siding with Progressives because he knows he cannot win reelection without their agenda and support.


Obvious corruption like this isn't allowed in other countries. Why do we allow this to continue to happen?


SO SO CORRUPT the whole political system


Straight to the soccer stadium with them


Jeez everyone just wants to get paid


They are dropping the other Dems when the heat on Sinema became too much.


Shouldn’t he be in prison for federal corruption charges?


Booker, Menendez, Murphy, and every other NJ politician is bought off by big pharma. It’s the lifeblood of the NJ economy. None of this is surprising.


scummy business practices...


Hey all you Vote Blue No Matter Who folks: THIS is why we say no.


All pharma executives deserve things I’m not permitted by Reddit tos to say.


[Called it](https://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/ppbee1/z/hd40keg)


They had to throw a Latino into it cause they’ve seen how bad we’ve been ripping on all the milquetoast white democrats.


This is one thing I do not understand about the US. You’re absolutely down on socialised medicine and are psychologically conditioned into taking/prescribing ONLY brand name products when things fall out of patent and are the same formulation entirely. Generic - £0.45 Brand name - £11.00 How does that even make sense?


"Lobbying" has turned into bribery, and corruption. It must be reigned in.


Yup, besides few cultural issues, Ds n Rs are basically all corporate owned. Rs just have nastier streak about them wrt equality/minorities.


Lyle/Erik 2024


It’s kinda sad these people are being bought out by billion dollar companies for less than a few million. It really shows how little they value the position theyre in.


Never liked him. He just seems so slimy and sleazy.


See 💩💩💩walk down both sides of the street


What's stopping these people from taking the money but still voting in favor of the bill? Really. I'm not a lawyer.


What is the goddamn point of these people if they do not work for the American people? Maybe they should have some consequences that aren't part of an election cycle or just monetary fines that they can make back in a single night's sleep? Or maybe a term like "embezzlement of office"? All I know is that if I make extra money off of my day job, I would be fired, lose my license, fined and probably go to jail for about a decade. These people fuck with the whole of the population because of their greed and lust for power. It feels just like a goddamn crime because it rightly should be. Good luck trusting them to protect us by policing themselves.


Why does the party even welcome them??? I hear the argument that no one else could win in their districts, but if they aren’t dems, you’re just helping elect republicans.


When Bob Menendez first ran for state senate, he was questioned about his ethics. It was his opponent’s main angle how Menedez was involved in or closely associated with many scandals at the time. He got elected because NJ is heavily democratic and the dems ran on his opponent bringing up the ethics scandals as “mudslinging” and that it was because he didn’t have any ideas of his own. Granted, at the time, his opponent was a pretty weak candidate running on his name since his father was a successful politician decades earlier, but the point is about Menendez having ethics scandals since literally the beginning of his political career.


Really trying hard to lose, these guys.


Remember something about George Bush not allowing Medicare to get lower drug prices, so it goes.


Time to have the out of office, they forgot who they’re supposed to represent. Not themselves but the people of their states.


He is a rat, people who vote for him are rats, it’s rats all the way down


She looks rode hard and put away damp upside down. But this is just drivel to distract.