Letters to the editor, May 8

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Big Pharma’s influence

People pay huge amounts of dollars on their prescriptions and other drugs and the costs in great measure are unnecessary.

Why is that?

Let me review for you: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has contracts with drug companies that greatly reduce the costs of drugs for veterans. Cooperative medical organizations found in several cities or areas have arrangements with drug firms. Large medical management firms have negotiated costs with drug firms.

Why is it that Medicare and Medicaid have no such agreements?

The answer is Congress. For several years, bills have been offered in Congress to enable the two large nationwide organizations to engage in negotiations. In each instance, Republicans in Congress, beholden to drug companies and their huge cadres of lobbyists who roam the halls of Congress, vote the way Big Pharma wants them to vote.

How does your M.D. congressman vote? Does he vote for you?

John J. Miniter,


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