Sunday, November 05, 2006


Lingle administration makes sure Hawaii contributes to drug company profits

Tomorrow's New York Times has a story As Drug Prices Climb, Democrats Find Fault With Medicare Plan describing how the Republican administration nationally has set up seniors to pay for drug company profits. In Hawaii, our state government has flouted the intent of the state law establishing the Rx Plus program. Well, if Lingle wants to get ahead in the party, she can't be a party pooper by doing anything to hurt drug company profits, can she?

Taking food out of the mouths of seniors and families to guarantee obscene drug company profits cannot be justified by any excuse the Lingle administration can give
I'm going to quote selectively. The article will disappear from the Times website, so you may want to click and read the whole thing soon. I'm grabbing paragraphs that describe how the system benefits the drug companies and leaving out the Democrat-Republican stuff. I'm not really sure that if there were a Democratic administration it would be any different--until we have publicly-funded elections, both parties are paid off handsomely by the pharmaceutical industry.
Medicare now pays for drugs indirectly, through the private insurers that administer the prescription program — and those insurers typically pay higher prices than government agencies, like the Veterans Administration, that buy medicines directly from drug makers.

.  .  .

Companies have raised prices on many top-selling medicines by 6 percent or more this year, double the overall inflation rate. In some cases, drug makers have received price increases of as much as 20 percent for medicines that the government was already buying for people covered under the Medicaid program for the indigent. Medicare also pays more than the Veterans Administration, which runs its own benefit program.

.  .  .

Drug makers have tried to play down their gains from the program because they do not want to be seen as profiteering in an election year, Mr. Funtleyder said. “You don’t want to draw too much attention to how good it’s been.”

.  .  .

Part D has raised profits for drug makers both by increasing the prices they receive and by encouraging beneficiaries to fill prescriptions they might otherwise have been unable to afford, analysts say.

The biggest gains have gone to companies that make drugs widely used by the Medicaid program, which covers the indigent. Poor people over 65, known as “dual eligibles,” previously received drugs through Medicaid.
Hawaii's Rx Plus program should have protected seniors, persons with disabilies, and those under 350 percent of the poverty level. But the Lingle administration's continued refusal to join with other states to negotiate discounts (as our state law intended) has certainly forced some people to choose between medicine and food. It will contribute eventually to increased homelessness.

There's no moral justification for their action, and this needs to be said.

Taking food out of the mouths of seniors and families to guarantee obscene drug company profits cannot be justified by any excuse the Lingle administration can give.


This is the kicker...Zyprexa is only FDA approved for schizophrenia (.5-1% of pop) and some bipolar (2% pop) and then an even smaller percentage of theses two groups.
So how the heck does Zyprexa get to be the 7th largest drug sale in the world?

Eli Lilly is in deep trouble for using their drug reps to 'encourage' doctors to write zyprexa for non-FDA approved 'off label' uses.
The drug causes increased diabetes risk,and medicare picks up all the expensive fallout.There are now 7 states (and counting) going after Lilly for fraud and restitution.
Daniel Haszard

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