A gift to Amgen, with love, from Congress

Tom Jackson
Jan 20, 2013

Sunday's edition of the New York Times has an article about the $500 million taxpayer gift to biotechnology company Amgen, from the company's good friends in the United States Congress.

"Just two weeks after pleading guilty in a major federal fraud case, Amgen, the world’s largest biotechnology firm, scored a largely unnoticed coup on Capitol Hill: Lawmakers inserted a paragraph into the 'fiscal cliff' bill that did not mention the company by name but strongly favored one of its drugs," reporters Eric Lipton and Kevin Sack reported.

The story goes on to explain that a delay in Medicare price controls for the company's kidney dialysis drug, Sensipar, should be worth about $500 million to Amgen. 

It comes at an opportune time for the company: "On Dec. 19, as Congressional negotiations over the fiscal bill reached a frenzy, Amgen pleaded guilty to marketing one of its anti-anemia drugs, Aranesp, illegally. It agreed to pay criminal and civil penalties totaling $762 million, a record settlement for a biotechnology company, according to the Justice Department."

The whole article is well worth reading.

I'm tempted to offer my opinion on all, but for now, I'll hold my tongue. 

Instead, I'm contacting spokesmen for U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, to ask if they knew about the provision when they voted for the fiscal cliff bill and what they think about it. When they get back to me, I'll get back to you. (According to the Times, the Senate inserted the provisions into the bill.)

The fiscal cliff bill passed about three weeks ago, so kudos to the Times for catching a provision that all of those other "watchdogs" in Washington missed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

wiredmama222

Just more proof of corruption on BOTH sides of the aisle in Washington. Who runs Washington, DC? The lobbyists do! Just read the entire article. It's pretty well stated there that only the lobbyists who pay big bucks are in control and that includes EVERY lobby, not just the ones controlling medicine. Special interests groups run this country. It is no longer about the people, by the people or for the people. Anyone naive enough to believe that one is living in la la land.

Its isn't going to be long before the uprising. Its like the handwriting is on the wall and getting bigger every day.

Pterocarya frax...

Corporations are people, my friend. Money is speech. Until we change those 2 sentences, corporations will continue to buy whatever and whomever they want...the rest of the country be damned.

wiredmama222

I totally agree. That is what is the most sickening thing about this entire article. The rest of the country be damned is what scares me the most about your comment and I couldn't agree more if my life depended on it. And it does.

Contango

@ wiredmama222:

Congress has been trying to get money outa politics for over 100 yrs. Ain't gonna happen. Furgitaboutit.

Better limit union contributions while you're at it.

Corps. are essentially a legal entity used to limit personal liability of the owners and/or shareholders.

KnuckleDragger

Say it isn't so? You mean there is pork in the fiscal cliff bill? You know, the bill Republicans in the house wanted to stop, due to this very reason? Remember, the Dems said the bill was too important to worry about the billions of dollars in pork that was in it. One thing is for certain, Congress will NEVER learn how to live within a budget, heck they haven't even passed one in years.

There you go again

Should never have passed the fiscal cliff bill. Pressure from the president ( and Chris Christie) should have been a clue that the Congress needed to read before voting. Sounds kinda like the Obamacare debacle- pass it so we can read it!

Contango

@ Mr. Jackson:

Unfortunately, it’s the tip o' the iceberg.

You need to learn a "new" term: Political Intelligence.

According the WSJ, the SEC has launched an investigation into the dealings of Teddy (Kennedy), Jr.'s Marwood Group.

They apparently warned their Wall St. clients about regulators actions.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB...

Al Gore made millions betting on "green energy" cos. that received govt. loans.

Ya gotta ask yourself: Why do 15 of the 20 wealthiest U.S. counties surround Washington D.C.?