Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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July 5, 2014

MAILBAG: Congress bows to 'Big Pharma'

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Congress bows to ‘Big Pharma’

It was distressful watching the evening news, seeing children with whooping cough wrestle with the contagious disease once though to be eradicated, and knowing it could have been prevented if they and others were vaccinated. Since that broadcast, no public-minded government entity has found a reasonable solution.

According to the New York Times, it has become harder as vaccination prices have risen significantly over the past 30 years, creating dilemmas for physicians and parents and straining public health budgets.

“Thirty years” cries for an answer. We must call on government, which enjoys large contributions from Big Pharma, to find solutions to the cost problem — and invest in public service announcements to educate the public why vaccinations are worthwhile, as well as dispel myths. Like Tobacco, Big Pharma should pay the cost.

The VA is authorized by Congress to purchase drugs in bulk, reducing cost and passing on the savings — yet Medicare is not allowed to do the same, forsaking those on a fixed income. Prescription drugs are cheaper in Canada, yet government will not authorize Americans to import them, claiming they’re unsafe.

Protecting big business profits and contributions is par for this Congress.

Roger Chenez

Lockport

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