Pushing Prescriptions

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What can you buy for over $100 million? Quite a bit, actually. The Center for Public Integrity has a new report out revealing that pharmaceutical companies spent $18 million on political contributions between 2001 and 2004, along with $44 million lobby state governments in 2003 and 2004, in order to thwart state attempts to reduce drug prices. And that all pales beside the $83 million the industry spent to defeat a California drug discount proposition in 2005.

33 states have passed at least 66 separate laws pushing down drug prices since 2003, although the Center doesn’t quite say how many further laws were scuttled because of lobbying, besides, of course, the California initiative.

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