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Opinion | Don’t let far-left Big Pharma raise Alabama’s drug costs

People in our state are already struggling enough to afford the drugs they need.

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Alabama Senators Katie Britt and Tommy Tuberville are right: Millions of Americans are struggling to afford their medications. That’s readily apparent right here in Alabama. An AARP study found that one in three Alabamians forgo taking the medicine they need because they can’t afford it. The chief culprit for high drug prices is Big Pharma, which manipulates government regulations for its own benefit.

The high prices don’t just hurt ordinary Americans trying to afford prescription drugs. They also allow the pharmaceutical industry to lavish left-wing politicians and causes with massive amounts of cash. The industry helps the Left spread wokeness throughout America. In turn, many phony critics of Big Pharma help out the industry in Congress. 

Democrats make a loud fuss about how they’re going to take on Big Pharma. Yet, the industry overwhelmingly favors them against Republicans

Since 2016, Democratic candidates have received significantly more in campaign contributions than their Republican rivals. The trend remains the same for the current election cycle. Elements of the drug industry have donated nearly $6 million to Joe Biden, which is more than four times the amount they’ve given to Donald Trump. This explains why Biden invites the industry’s lobbying arm, PhRMA, to his discussions on drug prices. 

Besides individual candidates, pharmaceutical companies have donated millions to groups that campaign for Democrats, such as the Democratic Governors Association. Democrats across the board benefit from Big Pharma’s largesse. Those who say nothing about the industry and those who criticize it both receive large campaign contributions.

Groups outside the Democratic party also receive plenty of money from Big Pharma. Advocacy groups, such as LULAC and UnidosUS, that want more immigration and illegal immigrants rewarded with amnesty benefited from the industry’s generosity. PhRMA regularly donates large sums to both groups. 

Labor unions that want to upend Alabama’s pro-growth policies receive a helping hand from the drug giants. The Pharmaceutical Industry Labor Management Association, a coalition of unions involved in the industry, benefits from Big Pharma’s generosity and the group aggressively lobbies for the industry’s interests. Big Pharma has also coaxed some labor unions to join in its efforts against pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which are third party groups that negotiate lower costs with drug companies for health insurance recipients. Unions have joined the “PBM Accountability Project,” which is a drugmaker-backed effort to whip up support for the industry’s interests.

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Pharmaceutical giants such as Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson delivered several millions of dollars to “racial justice” groups such as Black Lives Matter. These same companies also adopted DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) policies that forced employees to agree with leftist ideas and discriminated against employees just because of their race or gender. These practices even resulted in an anti-discrimination lawsuit against Pfizer.

Big Pharma bankrolls efforts to force hospitals to embrace radical gender ideology, which would require doctors and nurses to deny biological truth. Health care providers would spend more time trying to be woke than saving lives, thanks to PhRMA-backed initiatives.

The industry also supports censorship. It heavily pressured social media companies to suppress skepticism and criticism of the COVID-19 vaccine.

All of this may explain why Bernie Sanders, an alleged Big Pharma foe, is now trying to advance the industry’s interests in Congress. He proposed the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Reform Act, which would restrict the ability of PBMs to negotiate lower drug prices. This would be a big win for Big Pharma and a major loss for Alabamians. People in our state are already struggling enough to afford the drugs they need. This bill would make them pay even more, as the price set by the drug giants would be final.

Republicans shouldn’t be tempted by Big Pharma’s money into doing its bidding. This is an industry dedicated to destroying the America Alabamians love. Voting for their agenda ensures more Democrats and far-left groups get money they don’t deserve. Our lawmakers should put the interests of the American citizen above the demands of well-paid lobbyists for the woke pharmaceutical industry.

Logan Glass serves as the founder and chairman of the St. Clair County Young Republicans

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