A most significant development recently involving Big Pharma went pretty much under the radar and unnoticed by the public. Billy Tauzin, who has been the top lobbyist for the drug manufacturers, was forced out by his bosses. Tauzin, a former powerful member of Congress, announced that he was stepping down as President of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. He had held that job since resigning from Congress. Tauzin was the sponsor of legislation that has made the drug manufacturers billions of dollars, and much richer, over the past few years. He pushed the Medicare drug bill through Congress with the obvious help of the Bush Administration. That legislation has been a financial bonanza for Big Pharma and very costly to U.S. taxpayers. Tauzin, after getting the drug industry’s bill passed, left Congress and immediately went to work for the very companies who benefited from it. But now he’s gone and many are wondering why.
According to Washington sources and media reports, Tauzin was kicked out because he was willing to compromise with President Obama on the healthcare legislation. At Tauzin’s urging, Pharma agreed with the President for the drug industry to contribute $80 Billion in health care cost savings over the next decade. The companies would have to reduce the price of some drugs to close a gap in seniors’ Medicare coverage. Obviously, Big Pharma – once it realized what it was doing – changed its mind and set out to kill health care reform in Congress. The partisan stance taken by the GOP most likely helped Pharma make the decision to give Tauzin the boot.
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