For Immediate Release


Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

White House Deals With PhRMA

WASHINGTON - Billy Tauzin "is chief of PhRMA, the biggest pharmaceutical trade
group. In the 2008 campaign, Obama ran a television ad pillorying
Tauzin for his role in preventing Medicare from negotiating for lower
drug prices. Last week the Los Angeles Times reported -- and the New
York Times confirmed -- that Tauzin, an active player in White House
health care negotiations, had secured a behind-closed-doors flip-flop,
enlisting the administration to push for continued protection of drug
-- Frank Rich, The New York Times, 8/9/09

See the Obama campaign ad denouncing Tauzin here.

Geyman is professor emeritus of family medicine at the University of
Washington. He is past president of Physicians for a National Health
Program and author of the book Shredding the Social Contract: The Privatization of Medicare.

He said today: "Whatever the details of who said what in a closed
meeting we're not supposed to know about, this is a classic 'surrender
in advance' policy failure corrupted by corporate money and
self-interest. Despite its rhetoric, PhRMA profiteers on the backs of
sick people and taxpayers, and we will have to come to a policy whereby
drug prices can be negotiated as the VA already does so effectively."

Idelson and Preston are spokespersons for the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee
(CNA/NNOC). Burger is a CNA/NNOC co-president. Idelson said today: "Our
members already see patients who have to take their prescribed pills
every other day, share them with family members, or cut pills in half,
all because of the price gouging of the drug companies. What this deal
essentially means is no real relief in drug prices, and it severely
undermines the White House commitment to a health plan that cuts costs."


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