God Watches Over The Children

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Friday, December 23, 2005

Read which senators have their hands in the drug companies pockets.

Have you wondered why they always put you and your children on addicting drugs and call them pain killers? It's financially advantageous to get you and your children hooked. Have your children had their psychological examination in school yet? Teen screen is now the law......see what they put your children on.
ALLIANCE FOR HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTION (AHRP) Promoting Openness, Full Disclosure, and Accountability www.ahrp.org FYI On Tuesday evening, 38 U.S. Senators with about $13.4 million in pharmaceuticaql stock holdings approved a sweetheart deal absolving the drug / vaccine industry from liability .
The New York Times reported that Senator Bill Frist (Majority Leader) inserted this shield from legal liability to his favorite industry "even if they are negligent or reckless."
Fortune Magazine confirms our report (October) that "The prospect of a bird flu outbreak may be panicking people around the globe, but it's proving to be very good news for Defense Secretary."
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who served as Gilead's chairman in 1997 when he joined the Bush administration, stands to gain handomely from his stock in Gilead, manufacturer of Tamiflu-- between $5 million and $25 million. The government is emerging as "one of the world's biggest customers for Tamiflu. In July, the Pentagon ordered $58 million worth of the treatment for U.S. troops around the world, and Congress is considering a multi-billion dollar purchase. Roche expects 2005 sales for Tamiflu to be about $1 billion, compared with $258 million in 2004. "
Experts around the world are raising doubts about the drug's efficacy and raising concerns about its safety. But if increasing personal wealth is the main objective of U.S. public officials--who cares if the medicla products being traded on the stock exchange are either ineffective--or defective--or even lethal?
Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav 212-595-8974 veracare@ahrp.org
FTCR: 38 Senators With Up to $13.4 Million in Pharmaceutical Stock Approve Drug Industry's Sweetheart Deal 12/22/2005 3:11:00 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- To: National Desk
Contact: Carmen Balber, 310-392-0522 ext. 324 or Jamie Court, 310-392-0522 ext. 327, both of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Dec. 22 /U.S. Newswire/ -- 38 U.S. Senators with up to $13.4 million in pharmaceutical holdings increased the value of their stock portfolios last night when they approved an amendment to the defense appropriations bill that immunizes drug makers from accountability to the public when they sell dangerous drugs and other products, according to the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR).
"When Senators can vote to harm the health and safety of the American public and line their own pockets while they're at it, the motive behind every vote is in question. No Senator should be able to vote in his own financial interests at the expense of the public," said Carmen Balber, consumer advocate with the nonprofit, nonpartisan Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.
FTCR released an analysis of Senate personal financial disclosures last week, revealing that 42 senators -- 27 Republicans and 15 Democrats -- held pharmaceutical stock worth between $8.1 and $16 million in 2004. Senators earned an additional $2.5 to $7.2 million in capital gains and dividends, and two senators' spouses also earned salaries from pharmaceuticals. View the analysis: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/SenPharma.pdf.
"The fact that Senators had the guts to block oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but failed to eliminate this giveaway to the pharmaceutical industry, shows this body is beholden to drug companies and their personal stake in the industry's profits," said Balber.
The 38 Senators with pharmaceutical stock that voted for the provision are: Allen (R-Va.), Bayh (D-Ind.), Bingaman (D-N.M.), Bond (R-Mo.), Boxer (D-Calif.), Brownback (R-Kan.), Burns (R-Mont.), Carper (D-Del.), Coburn (R-Okla.), Cochran (R-Miss.), Conrad (D-N.D.), Crapo (R-Idaho), Dayton (D-Minn.), DeWine (R-Ohio), Dole (R-N.C.), Ensign (R-Nev.), Feinstein (D-Calif.), Frist (R-Tenn.), Hatch (R-Utah), Hutchison (R-Texas), Inhofe (R-Okla.), Isakson (R-Ga.), Kerry (D-Mass.), Kyl (R-Ariz.), Landrieu (D-La.), Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Levin (D-Mich.), Lieberman (D-Conn.), Lott (R-Miss.), Reed (D-R.I.), Reid (D-Nev.), Roberts (R-Kan.), Stevens (R-Alaska), Sununu (R-N.H.), Talent (R-Mo.), Vitter (R-La.), Voinovich (R-Ohio) and Warner (R-Va.). Four Senators with pharmaceutical holdings did not vote.
The provision grants immunity to drug companies for any vaccine or product, classified by the Bush Administration as necessary to respond to a public health threat, when patients are harmed by dangerous drugs. Its broad language will protect any product considered a "countermeasure," not just vaccines or drugs needed to respond to health emergencies.
Sen. Bill Frist added the provision to the defense conference report, approved by the House of Representatives on Sunday, after conferees had signed what they were told was the final product. Nine members of the Senate conference committee hold pharmaceutical stock.
Sen. Frist's blind trust included stock in drug companies Abbott Laboratories and Johnson & Johnson through 2004, each worth $15,000 to $50,000 when the trust was created. Frist also reported holdings in Orthodontic Supply Inc. worth between $1,001 and $15,000.
Congressional leaders tried to provide similar protection to the makers of the vaccine additive Thimerosal in 2002 with an amendment to a Homeland Security bill based on legislation Frist carried. Public backlash forced the Senate to remove the immunity provision.
/© 2005 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/
NEW YORK (Fortune) - The prospect of a bird flu outbreak may be panicking people around the globe, but it's proving to be very good news for Defense Secretary
Rumsfeld's growing stake in TamifluDefense Secretary, ex-chairman of flu treatment rights holder, sees portfolio value growing.October 31, 2005: 10:55 AM ESTBy Nelson D. Schwartz, Fortune senior writerDonald Rumsfeld and other politically connected investors in Gilead Sciences, the California biotech company that owns the rights to Tamiflu, the influenza remedy that's now the most-sought after drug in the world.
Rumsfeld served as Gilead (Research)'s chairman from 1997 until he joined the Bush administration in 2001, and he still holds a Gilead stake valued at between $5 million and $25 million, according to federal financial disclosures filed by Rumsfeld.
The forms don't reveal the exact number of shares Rumsfeld owns, but in the past six months fears of a pandemic and the ensuing scramble for Tamiflu have sent Gilead's stock from $35 to $47. That's made the Pentagon chief, already one of the wealthiest members of the Bush cabinet, at least $1 million richer.
Rumsfeld isn't the only political heavyweight benefiting from demand for Tamiflu, which is manufactured and marketed by Swiss pharma giant Roche. (Gilead receives a royalty from Roche equaling about 10% of sales.) Former Secretary of State George Shultz, who is on Gilead's board, has sold more than $7 million worth of Gilead since the beginning of 2005.
Another board member is the wife of former California Gov. Pete Wilson. "I don't know of any biotech company that's so politically well-connected," says analyst Andrew McDonald of Think Equity Partners in San Francisco.
What's more, the federal government is emerging as one of the world's biggest customers for Tamiflu. In July, the Pentagon ordered $58 million worth of the treatment for U.S. troops around the world, and Congress is considering a multi-billion dollar purchase. Roche expects 2005 sales for Tamiflu to be about $1 billion, compared with $258 million in 2004.
Rumsfeld recused himself from any decisions involving Gilead when he left Gilead and became Secretary of Defense in early 2001. And late last month, notes a senior Pentagon official, Rumsfeld went even further and had the Pentagon's general counsel issue additional instructions outlining what he could and could not be involved in if there were an avian flu pandemic and the Pentagon had to respond.
As the flu issue heated up early this year, according to the Pentagon official, Rumsfeld considered unloading his entire Gilead stake and sought the advice of the Department of Justice, the SEC and the federal Office of Government Ethics.
Those agencies didn't offer an opinion so Rumsfeld consulted a private securities lawyer, who advised him that it was safer to hold on to the stock and be quite public about his recusal rather than sell and run the risk of being accused of trading on insider information, something Rumsfeld doesn't believe he possesses. So he's keeping his shares for the time being.
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