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.

The language buried in Section 632 of the law delays a set of Medicare price restraints on a class of drugs that includes Sensipar, a lucrative Amgen pill used by kidney dialysis patients.

The provision gives Amgen an additional two years to sell Sensipar without government controls. The news was so welcome that the company’s chief executive quickly relayed it to investment analysts. But it is projected to cost Medicare up to $500 million over that period.

Amgen, which has a small army of 74 lobbyists in the capital, was the only company to argue aggressively for the delay, according to several Congressional aides of both parties.

Supporters of the delay, primarily leaders of the Senate Finance Committee who have long benefited from Amgen’s political largess, said it was necessary to allow regulators to prepare properly for the pricing change.

But critics, including several Congressional aides who were stunned to find the measure in the final bill, pointed out that Amgen had already won a previous two-year delay, and they depicted a second one as an unnecessary giveaway…

The provision’s inclusion in the legislation to avert the tax increases and spending cuts that made up the so-called fiscal cliff shows the enduring power of special interests in Washington, even as Congress faces a critical test of its ability to balance the budget.

Amgen has deep financial and political ties to lawmakers like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, and Senators Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, and Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, who hold heavy sway over Medicare payment policy as the leaders of the Finance Committee.

This stinks on ice!



  1. Eff da Poe! says:

    You think that’s news? Have you heard the one about Monsanto?!

    http://naturalnews.com/038779_farm_bill_Monsanto_public_outcry.html

    Ya. I know. It sounds like the beginning to a JOKE! But the jokes on US my friend. I don’t know why we even have a FDA. Seems more like it’s an acronym for Fuck Da Amerikans or Federal DOPES Administration – not Food and Drug Act.

    (See! I can read reddit too!)

  2. MikeN says:

    How about the Obama campaign donors who are getting an extension in wind energy production tax credits? Tens of billions of dollars there not worth a mention.

    • Dallas says:

      I support this vigorously because it’s effective towards keeping electricity rates low and encourage
      US development of proven renewable energy.

      Beyonce’ did not sing the National Anthem. You should be off chasing that issue and leave the important stuff to liberals.

      • pedro says:

        As I said before: you never lose an opportunity to look like the big idiot you are.

      • ± says:

        read the post post above this one over and over until it sinks in and you have an epiphany causing you to join cogent humanity OR until you irretrievably curl into fetal position with thumb in mouth; whichever comes first

        • Dallas says:

          Sweety, I wasn’t replying to the original post. Do you not understand the concept nested threads? That swastika pin must have punctured your pea brain.

      • Lol, great one.

  3. Enemy_Of_The_State says:

    Dialysis Is Life Support for the Terminally Ill and if Amgen can’t meet target costs, then they deserve to loose their IP for the product.

    • dusanmal says:

      Do you even attempt to start to understand the free market…? (And I have had terminally ill father on dialysis…).
      Amgen did work to develop the drug. Amgen patented drug (which is a perfect case of patents as they should be – for something truly innovative). Amgen produces the drug… Hence, Amgen and only Amgen can say how much it is selling for. If they want a million dollars per pill – their market choice. So, among all real corrupt and fascist deals (ex, SPECIAL advantages and kickbacks to corporations from Government, most recent as a part of fiscal cliff resolution – money for electric scooters, Disney, Goldman, Hollywood ,…) this is actually prevention of fascist influence of Government on the industry, at least for a while.
      Market forces and market forces only must decide pricing and corporate winning or losing in the market. Not artificially meddling with prices is part of that. Not giving any corporate welfare and/or creative market meddling regulation is another part. Here at least one part have been done.

      • MWD78 says:

        i guess artificially keeping the price high in the first place shouldn’t be weighed as a factor at all in your mind then.

        i’m sure extorting money from terminally ill patients and medicare is far from their intent though. far be it from the pharmaceutical industry to make exorbitant profits off the suffering of sick people.~

        • Sea Lawyer says:

          Agree, I just wouldn’t make the drug in the first place. Then all these demanding assholes can just die.

        • LibertyLover says:

          I have no problem with them charging what they want.

          I have a problem with the federal government choosing winners and losers.

      • Sea Lawyer says:

        The fact that you have a state granted monopoly by means of the patent system makes it not a free market, as there are legal barriers to entry for potential competitors.

        • Dallas says:

          There is nothing illegal about monopolies. In fact, as you state, they are arguably encouraged by the patent system.
          Monopolies just have to play by different rules .

          • pedro says:

            Translation: “There’s nothing wrong about monopolies as long as a democrat holds it”

          • Sea Lawyer says:

            Umm, I wasn’t making a statement about monopolies except that there being a state granted monopoly means that there is not a free market, which dusanmal seems to not recognize.

      • msbpodcast says:

        Québec’s history with their socialized medicine* started with kidney dialysis and my father was one of the first recipient of the largesse since, because we weren’t rich, he would have died after having exhausted his savings.

        He was literally a couple of dialysis treatments away from being dead. Instead he went onto to be the successful manager of the print shop for [name withheld] Pharmaceuticals, was a hard-working, productive tax paying member of society and was one of the longest surviving dialysis** recipients until stroke finally claimed him.

        My mother, my sister and I would have had entirely different, and much poorer lives without my father being there for us.

        So all these arch pseudo-capitalists can suck on my dick because I’m sure I would have held one of the fuckers up at some point and would have probably blown a few holes in them out of spite.

        There’s one major cause of gun violence that the president’s counsel of worthies can eliminate right off the bat: A feeling of alienation and since nobody gives a shit about you, why should you give a fuck about them? BANG!

        *) I just put that in there to bug the 1%er stooges who insist that absolutely everything be run for profit by private enterprise when they’d be the first ones to complain if the utilities we given such free reign.

        **) Ironic isn’t it? One of the first recipient of socialized medicine in the province was an employee of Big Pharma.

        • LibertyLover says:

          Interesting.

          You support stealing and murder to further your own ends.

          Anything else we should know about you?

          • spsffan says:

            Actually, now that you mention it, when I was younger, I used to feel as you do. That is that most honest people wouldn’t stoop to such measures.

            But, over the last 30 or so years that I’ve been an adult, and have observes and experienced the world and the people in it, I’ve come to the conclusion that we pretty much will all stoop to theft and physical harm if we get desperate and/or despondent enough.

            Fortunately, I haven’t been there myself and I hope I never get there. But I’ve seen it happen far, far too many times to still believe it to be abnormal.

          • LibertyLover says:

            It is abnormal for civilized society. Only in the animal kingdom is it acceptable to take for personal use.

            A friend mine just wrote me:

            “The only thing that is valued by society at large is “fairness” and compassion, and what is meant by fairness is equality of outcome, which essentially ends up meaning that everyone is pulled down to the least common denominator.”

            It’s just that society as a whole has been taught to look at the source instead reasoning out a solution.

            Here is a good article this:

            http://personalliberty.com/2013/01/22/matrix-programming-101-destroy-logic/

            Ideas no longer need to be judged on their sense, merit and alignment with basic principles. Nor are they judged by their position in a well-formed argument. All that is out. Now, you have to “look to the source” and make all your decisions based on “who these people really were who expressed the ideas.”

            I’m happy things worked our for him. It’s easy to say how things should be when it hits close to home.

  4. LibertyLover says:

    If you voted for either of these two parties, you have nothing to bitch about. Take your medicine and shut up.

    • msbpodcast says:

      Well, there wasn’t a whole lot of selection now was there? (On one hand, heart attack, on the other, cancer. Let us pray we have the window to choose wisely… :-)

      I’m still on my soapboxabout an alternative to elections that just leave you breathless from holding your nose while yanking even more futilely at a lever than pulling on a “one armed bandit” is a viable retirement plan.

      • LibertyLover says:

        Well, there wasn’t a whole lot of selection now was there?

        There were numerous other choices. It just made them feel good to think they didn’t have to take responsibility.

    • Well, I voted for Gary Anderson so I can bitch all I want.

  5. pedro says:

    Yawn!

  6. super77 says:

    nothing new here.

  7. Cash McCall says:

    Shame on you all… Liberals and RINOs are deeply concerned about your health.

    And while you are looking closely at this “bill” look at the famous bill that pretends to stop insider trading. If you notice as long as the transaction is $1000 or less, it need not be reported. Further, Pelosi or any one of the other Liberal RINO traders, can make an unlimited amount of such trades and never report them. Yep that’s why they were so “supportive” of the stop the insider trading bill… It was yet another example of the most nothing possible. These people are truly dishonest. Yet you keep electing them and keep sending them back to congress.

    • McCullough says:

      But, But, the cry of the moron is, if I don’t vote for my Democrat I’ll end up with a Republican!!!

      Idiots, all of you………….. all of you.

      Off with their heads.

      • jpfitz says:

        Mormon or be a moron.

        Once the head is off…. they’ll baptize you.

  8. bobbo, the pragmatic existential evangelical anti-theist says:

    Its fraud and corruption, money for votes, bribery, bought and paid for Congresscreeps covered only by a tissue of lies so thin, the smallest dingleberry cannot be wiped: “…it was necessary to allow regulators to prepare properly for the pricing change.” Pull my finger.

  9. MikeN says:

    They made a drug, and they are getting paid for it. Ont he other hand, we find that Egypt is getting more warplanes and tanks courtesy of the US. This is the country whose ruler refers to Israel as the land of apes and pigs.

    • jpfitz says:

      That’s one of our major exports. Weapons of war, not food, not medicine, not life sustaining goods.

      Who gives a rats ass what a Militant dictator calls another Middle East ruler. I don’t. And yea, our “Country” gives “aid” to both Countries.

      • msbpodcast says:

        our “Country” sells “aid” to both Countries.

        Get your facts straight.

        All military aid we provide to either side (though its usually to both at different times) of what ever conflict we probably stated years before, comes back to the ‘States in armament jobs, jobs, jobs and the payments go on for years and years so (the bankers don’t complain either.)

        • jpfitz says:

          It all seems at times a really bad dream, I awake the next day to read even more preposterous happenings in the world. Sometimes I say DAMN THE INTERNETS.

          Very cool that your Dad was saved by the generosity of a Country that cares more about their population than a huge profit.

  10. ± says:

    for starters:

    1) constitutional amendment requiring proposed legislation to address ONE TOPIC ONLY. Then provide for one monthly bill called the “Pork Bill”. Every month each state in the union can have two separate provisions from the House which benefits their state alone. The Senate can have one pork for their state each month. Some $ limit can be haggled out. Of course this is in addition to any single topic bills that any legislator can convince all others to vote for which only benefits his constituents.

    • LibertyLover says:

      Why not just cut out a percentage of the federal income tax that is pork and then the States can increase their taxes an equal amount?

      This way the money never leaves the State so 25% of the money doesn’t disappear into somebody’s pocket before it makes it back to the State.

  11. MikeN says:

    The extended tax credits and subsidies are higher than the total amount raised from the tax increases. It’s basic math.