SRxA’s Word on Health takes its hat off to Richard Meyer of Online Strategic Solutions Inc. for his recent blog post in defense of the pharmaceutical industry. In a world where bashing the Industry has achieved almost Olympic sport status, it’s good to hear the other side of the argument.
His article was in response to Paul Blumenthal’s piece in the Huffington Post entitled, “How Drug Companies Game Washington.” This article lambasted the drug industry for the $2.3 billion it has spent on lobbying and the $183 million on campaign contributions since 1998. Blumenthal also pointed out that Pharma maintains a war chest for grassroots lobbying aimed at altering public opinion and deterring any legislative proposal that would lower costs for consumers and profits for the drug makers.
Countering these allegations, Meyer pointed out that the pharma industry is a business and it, like any other, has a right to make money. He asserts that the original post is shortsighted and inaccurate at best. He criticized Blumental for failing to mention:
- the great medical advances that pharma has made in disease such as AIDS and cancer
- the free drug programs that most companies have for people who cannot afford their drugs
- that it costs over $1 billion to develop and launch new drugs
- that only one out of every 8 or 9 drugs ever make it to market
Meyer also took issue with the assertion that drug companies are thriving fat cats and reminded readers that 50 -60 thousand people have been laid off from the drug industry in the past year because of changes in healthcare law and drugs coming off patent.
Sure, the pharma industry has a lot of skeletons in their closet but it’s good for a change to be reminded of all the things they have done right, rather than the usual gripes about wrongdoing.