News Release

White House Deals With PhRMA

Billy Tauzin “is chief of PhRMA, the biggest pharmaceutical trade group. In the 2008 campaign, Obama ran a television ad pillorying Tauzin for his role in preventing Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices. Last week the Los Angeles Times reported — and the New York Times confirmed — that Tauzin, an active player in White House health care negotiations, had secured a behind-closed-doors flip-flop, enlisting the administration to push for continued protection of drug prices.”
— Frank Rich, The New York Times, 8/9/09

See the Obama campaign ad denouncing Tauzin here.

Geyman is professor emeritus of family medicine at the University of Washington. He is past president of Physicians for a National Health Program and author of the book Shredding the Social Contract: The Privatization of Medicare.

He said today: “Whatever the details of who said what in a closed meeting we’re not supposed to know about, this is a classic ‘surrender in advance’ policy failure corrupted by corporate money and self-interest. Despite its rhetoric, PhRMA profiteers on the backs of sick people and taxpayers, and we will have to come to a policy whereby drug prices can be negotiated as the VA already does so effectively.”

Idelson and Preston are spokespersons for the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC). Burger is a CNA/NNOC co-president. Idelson said today: “Our members already see patients who have to take their prescribed pills every other day, share them with family members, or cut pills in half, all because of the price gouging of the drug companies. What this deal essentially means is no real relief in drug prices, and it severely undermines the White House commitment to a health plan that cuts costs.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167