Sunday, January 22, 2006

How Congressional Scandals Influence Your Trip to the Pharmacist

I've been following the ethics/lobbying calamity going on in Congress with great interest these past few weeks. If you're as time-challenged as I am and looking to get up to speed with this scandal in a hurry, I urge you to read this comprehensive piece from this morning's USA Today (free text link below).

Down near the bottom of this awesome piece is a section on lobbying perks doled out by the bushel to Congressmen to "buy" their influence. In the section on travel favors, Senate Majority Bill Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) -- a familiar name to blog readers for his helpful hand to vaccine makers -- made that list.

Special travel arrangements, according to the piece, are among the best things companies can do to make fast friends with federal legislators. Frist was the "poster child" for such excesses, using the corporate plane owned by drugmaker Schering-Plough after the 2004 election for multiple trips to the Southeast to congratulate newly elected Republican senators.

Although this article doesn't dig much deeper on drug companies, this sector remains, without question, the largest political lobby in Congress, so expect some major fireworks before too long...

USA Today January 10, 2006

more info at:
Integrated Medicine Forum

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