Tired of It

An online article in the Christian Science Monitor a few days ago (about someone suing the pharmaceutical company Wyeth for insufficient warning language on a drug label–a musician who lost her arm because of side effects!) contained these two sentences:

Forty-seven states and an array of consumer advocacy, medical, and other groups have filed friend of the court briefs supporting Levine. Wyeth has received supporting briefs from drug industry lobbyists, business groups, and the Bush administration.

I am tired of our political system being so overtly and completely allied with lobbyists and corporations. While I agree that our government should be concerned about the financial health of businesses large and small in the interest of the overall health of our economy, it’s disheartening to feel that our elected officials cater more to business entities than the citizens they truly represent.

I’m sorry, but I think human beings’ needs are more important than business needs. While I can’t say whether the suit described in the Monitor‘s article has merit, it’s yet another instance when lobbyists, business groups, and the federal government are all allied together, seemingly united against individual citizens.

I look at it this way: if my house were on fire, I’d grab my kids, not my computer, even though I need my computer to earn money. My kids are incalculably more important.

I’d just like my elected officials to think in a similar way sometimes.

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11 Comments

Filed under Politics, Rants

11 responses to “Tired of It

  1. Alida

    I’ve been pretty honest about what I think of the Bush administration 🙂 I think it’s a shame and a crime that congress and we the citizens have let this administration get away with having so much power. It’s tricky because even if our president-elect is truly noble (and he well may be) it’s very difficult to give back that kind of power. All this leads me to question why the executive branch of the government is involved in a Supreme Court case that has nothing to do with them? Why are they allowed to weigh in? Argh! I can’t wait until January.

  2. Well, I have no problem with the executive branch and its representatives (the Justice Department) filing friend of the court (amicus curiae) briefs, since that’s simply giving an opinion. And theoretically anyone can do so. For me it’s more that it seems our recent governments have been so heavily skewed toward the business end of the equation.

  3. Alida

    Thanks for clearing that for me. I’m not very informed on the in’s and otu’s of our legal process. (shame on me) I agree with you, they do seem skewed towards business.

  4. Alida

    Argh! The word should have been out’s. I’ve been making a lot of typing errors lately or relying too much on spell-check…sorry.

  5. It’s not quite so blatant over here (rules about election funding help a lot) but it’s heading that way. I suspect more insidious stuff goes on at local council level.

  6. I could go on and on about my paranoid theories regarding government and the pharmaceutical industry, but I won’t. I don’t think it was the Bush administration per se, and I don’t think that it will stop now that Bush is out of office.

    I find it more than a little coincidental that so many children in public schools end up diagnosed with behavioral disorders that require potentially damaging medication to control. Hmmmm … drugged kids grow up to be drugged unconscious adults, and then hey, the country is much easier to run. Hmmmmm. Where’s my tinfoil hat?

  7. I am firmly in the camp that believes that all professional lobbying should be banned. All of it. Our representatives and senators are supposed to be representing us, the people, not corporations or special interest groups or religious associations or or or. We The People.

    I’m with davidrochester here. Take it even farther. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor does not tell you to take up yoga, drink chamomile tea, get some therapy, go get exercise and lose some weight. He gives you a patentable prescription medication as suggested by the latest pharmaceutical representative that has bought his office staff lunch. It’s appalling.

  8. HMH — Yeah. One of the reasons I respect the doctor I have is that his clinic banned pharmaceutical reps from visiting the office. He has mentioned to me a couple of times that some patients are annoyed that he never has free samples of stuff. Talk about missing the point! Yikes.

  9. Nana

    I read the article. The warning label appears to have sufficiently addressed the dangers of administering the drug improperly. The drug was administered improperly. The patient sued the individual who administered the drug improperly and the patient settled for $700, 000. If we look at the facts unemotionally, this should be the end of the story. But it’s not.

    There is nothing wrong with lobbying. There are many groups lobbying for us folks (the ACLU and AARP are 2 of the largest) who represent the voting populace. What IS wrong is ignoring the Constitution of the United States of America, which does NOT give the Executive Branch the powers which it has been assuming for decades.

    It is also very clear the State’s rights supercede Federal rights and this has been lost, mostly because the citizenry has abdicated State’s rights by mistakenly turning to the Federal government for “protection”. The feds now have the right to interfere with a basic State responsibility, that of educating its children. How? By threatening to cut off federal funding for special programs which We The People demanded and got.

  10. David: I think it’s our entire culture that contributes to overmedication. I noticed a Google banner ad the other day for Tylenol: “Relieve your child’s minor aches and pains.” Now, if they’re minor, why must we relieve them? Are we so afraid of experiencing pain and discomfort? And as far as ADD and such “behavioral” diagnoses for children, I think we’ve lost sight of what a normal kid is like, because so many adults sit around all day!

    HMH: I think we are seeing the repercussions of allowing profit to trump human needs, and that’s the root of much of what’s wrong with our health care system. I prefer to look at illness in a variety of ways: when my kids get a cold I treat it (at least initially) with herb teas, humidifiers, etc. to help their bodies accomplish what they’re trying to do, expel the ick. If something in particular gets worse, I might use a conventional medication like a cough suppressant at night, in the interest of balancing out a symptom that’s going too far. And of course for SillyBilly we rely on his asthma medication since that quickly gets out of control.

    Nana: Actually the article states that the plaintiff’s lawyers are basing the suit against Wyeth based on the fact that the assessment of the possible problems with intravenous injection of the drug were insufficient compared with other delivery methods. And the jury agreed.

    As far as lobbying, I think the only reason we need these groups to “represent” us is that our elected representatives cannot truly act on our behalf any more, given the size of our population. All the more reason to give back more power to the states!

  11. Nana

    When the Supreme Court gives its ruling, it is likely the plaintiff’s lawyers will lose the suit against Wyeth because the FDA approved the drug and its warning label. My personal take is that, when the possible side effects of the use of a drug are as potentially disastrous as this one is, it should not be approved. After all, it is an anti-nausea drug, not a cure for cancer! The plaintiff would have certainly been better off taking a toke to offset the nausea associated with her migraines. Might have helped the migraines as well!

    I’m somewhat surprised about your comment about giving power back to the states. This kind of political thinking is very much to the right of center. Liberals are generally in favor of more centralized government.

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