Sunday, March 02, 2008

Drug Company Profits? Look to Ted Kennedy

When you really, really, HAVE to protect your profits, go to Ted Kennedy.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a provision in the patent reform bill that would cost taxpayers an estimated $19 million and hospitals $2 billion, with all the benefit accruing to one pharmaceutical company.

The narrowly tailored provision, first added to the bill by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., is the fruit of an impressive $4.6 million lobbying campaign featuring an all-star cast of former lawmakers and government officials from both parties.

Briefly, the Company filed an application one day later than allowed by law. That could have cost them $500 million (or more) in profits over a 4+ year span--thus, they went the "change the law just for us" route.

MDCO’s lobbyists on this one issue have included: former Sen. and Ambassador to Germany Daniel Coats; former House Majority Leader Dick Armey; former spokesman for Vice President George H.W. Bush and former Ambassador to Canada Peter Teeley; Philip Kiko, former counsel to former House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner; Mac Bernstein, an aide to former Democratic Sen. Howard Metzenbaum and currently a HillRaiser — $100,000 bundler for Hillary Clinton; Tom Korologos, who served in the Nixon and Ford administrations and was recently the ambassador to Belgium; and Steve Elmendorf, top adviser to John Kerry and Richard Gephardt.

It worked. Ted Kennedy did their bidding.

Earlier this month, the Congressional Budget Office estimated the MDCO provision, by keeping cheap generic versions of Angiomax off the market longer, would increase government spending on health care by $19 million from 2011 to 2018.

Another day, another $4.6 million to snatch another $500 million or so.

HT: American Spectator Blog

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