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The Danger Of Big Pharma’s Silent Hold Over The US Government

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Lobbying allows special interest groups to control the way laws are shaped and how healthcare policies are both created and enforced.

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Pharmaceutical companies are some of the richest, most profitable companies in the world. Besides using profits to advertise products and influence prescription-writing target markets, Pharma spends extraordinary amounts of money on patents to protect their profit margins. Some cancer treatments can cost 600 times more in the U.S. than in other countries — and this form of price gouging remains legal in the U.S.1 Unfortunately for consumers, the game is rigged in Pharma’s favour, as they buy this privilege by lobbying government representatives.

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Lobbying expenditures by the pharmaceutical industry have been increasing every year and hit an all-time high of $273 million in 2009. Monies are used successfully to influence lawmakers and politicians and shape pending legislature.

Since 2003, Medicare, the biggest drug purchaser in the US, cannot negotiate drug pricing. As a result, some of the most disenfranchised patients pay high co-pays, and tax payers are forced to cough up billions in taxes to subsidize Medicare drug spending.

Another example of how pharmaceutical companies spend their money to influence government, thanks to legislation passed in 1988, can be seen in vaccine manufacturers, who enjoy blanket immunity from lawsuits over any injuries caused by mandatory vaccinations.2 With this kind of protection, Pharma can fast-track vaccines to the marketplace before adverse events become evident, all without worrying that a mistake will cost their stockholders money. If a suit is won in the government-funded ‘vaccine court,’3 those cases are sealed so the public cannot see judgements or payouts to victims.4

Pharmaceutical companies also contribute heavily to the campaigns of candidates who eventually return the favor. They spent $51 million in the 2012 federal elections and $32 million in the 2014 elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP). So far, Pharma has already spent $10 million on the 2016 elections.5 With some presidential candidates vowing to go after Pharma prices as part of their platform, this industry will undoubtedly spend much more before November. Clearly, these payments are offered with an expectation that certain pharmaceutical agendas will be prioritized. Sometimes, these agendas involve placing corporate profit above human welfare.

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During the anthrax scare in 2001, the government protected the patent of Bayer AG’s Cipro by not allowing generic versions to be produced. The US government then stockpiled enough Cipro to treat 2 million people for 60 days each at $350 a month, even though a generic manufacturer could produce more drugs, more quickly, at a cost of only $10 a month. The administration, who had accepted large campaign donations, protected Bayer’s patent, clearly a case of political payback.6

Lately, lobbying efforts of pharmaceutical industry have focused on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade agreement between 12 countries (including the United States) which has been in negotiation since 2009. Pharmaceutical interests have been heavily lobbying U.S. representatives since day one. In fact, Pharma has spent more than two and a half times the runner-up industry on the TPP.7 Why? Because this agreement will decide how long drug companies get to keep their patents and that could severely affect their bottom line. The United States is also pushing to limit regulatory agencies’ ability to support the generic drug market.8 This is all money well spent, as Pharma makes most of its money on forcing consumers to pay high prices for patented drugs.

The most egregious act of the new millennium was the lobbying effort opposing cheaper generic AIDS drugs for poor countries, putting profit over public health and human suffering. Drug companies insisted that their patents be upheld and full price be charged to even the poorest of countries. Despite opposition from patient advocacy groups, these morally questionable practices continue in today’s political contests.9

Drug lobbyists play a key role in shaping government’s healthcare policies. Lobbying firms court and then hire people who once held key federal government positions. Because they are dealing with former coworkers and colleagues, deals are struck over dinner or on the golf course. Pharmaceutical lobbying continues to present a serious conflict of interest when it comes to US healthcare policy and practices. The question is, how long will the American public allow this practice to continue?

SOURCES

1 http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-pharmaceuticals-cancer-usa-idUSKCN0RM1EC20150922

2 https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/300aa-22

3 http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/vaccine-programoffice-special-masters

4 http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/

5 http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/33010-how-much-of-big-pharma-s-massive-profits-are-used-to-influence-politicians

6 http://www.lieffcabraser.com/antitrust/cipro/, http://kkbs-law.com/2013/10/18/drug-manufacturers-collusion-to-block-market-competition-harms-california-consumers/

7 http://money.cnn.com/2015/10/05/news/economy/transpacific-partnership-tpp/

8 http://www.ncpa.org/pub/st346

9 http://www.reuters.com/article/us-safrica-pharma-idUSBREA0G0N720140117

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Abductions & Car Vandalism – Startling Australian UFO Report Unclassified

Gautam Peddada

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An uncovered Australian report performed by their Department of Defence. “Scientific Intelligence — General — Unidentified Flying Objects” is trending again. Those who have done extensive research on UFOs will find the Australian version of disclosure to be far more intellectually honest than the American version. Albeit it was conducted decades ago.

According to ex-US intelligence official Luis Elizondo, the Defense Department’s Inspector General is presently conducting three reviews. The inquiries vary from the Department of Defense’s handling of UFO claims to Elizondo’s alleged whistleblower retribution. The open IG cases are crucial to Australia’s report because they establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that the US Department of Defense is being dishonest and shady when it comes to the UFO subject. For decades, Australia has been a loyal friend of the United States. Within Australia’s boundaries, they share a military installation (Pine Gap). When a close defense ally’s intelligence agencies determined that the US was not being intellectually honest in its approach, perhaps it is reasonable to conclude that there is more to the tale than the 144 incidents studied since 2004 by the UAPTF.

The CIA became alarmed at the overloading of military communications during the mass sightings of 1952 and considered the possibility that the USSR may take advantage of such a situation.

Australian UFO study.

According to the summary, OSI, acting through the Robertson-Panel, encouraged the USAF to use Project Blue Book to publicly “debunk” UFOs. In a tragic twist of fate, when Australian authorities sought explanations from the US Air Force, the allegation was debunked. The authors of the study were depicted as conspiratorial and even crazy by the US Air Force. Ross Coulthart reported this, and it may be heard in a recent Project Unity interview. Courthart is an award-winning investigative journalist who is drawn to forbidden subjects. He also stated on the same podcast that a senior US Navy official identified as Nat Kobitz told him that the US had been in the midst of reverse-engineering numerous non-human craft. According to his obituary, Mr. Kobitz was a former Director of Research and Development at Naval Sea Systems Command.

Continue reading the entire article at The Pulse. 

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New UFO Film Questions What The US Government Is Hiding

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CE Staff Writer 2 minute read

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The US recently released its highly anticipated Pentagon UAP report, but it wasn’t much more than a 9 page rundown of what has been known for decades. Regardless, for many, what was promising was that the UFO subject was being taken seriously again – and perhaps many more scientists might get involved.

For decades many have been warning about leaving UFO disclosure in the hands of a government that likes to use crisis’ or current events to expand its defense budgets. Further, why would we suddenly expect a government, who has been lying about this subject for 70 years, to suddenly come forth with the truth? What would inspire them to suddenly change their mind?

Perhaps it’s because the search for ET is an idea who’s time has truly come. We’ve reporting on this for over 13 years, and are mongst a community of researchers who have been encouraging humanity to look at the evidence for more than 70 years. It feels like an idea that human collective consciousness is more than ready to explore.

The impact the ET question has on our individual and collective worldview has the power to truly change the way we view ourselves and the meaning of life here on earth. Think of the implications answers to this question could have on how we set up and run our society as well. Technology, culture, collaboration etc – I spoke about this more in great detail in my extended interview for Greer’s. prior film Close Encounters of The Fifth Kind here.

Now, a new documentary from Dr. Steven Greer, directed by my good friend Michael Mazzola, seeks to explore what the films calls “the current government and media disinformation campaign promoting 3 big lies:”

1. We do not know what these UAPs/ UFOs are. WE DO.
2. Humans cannot make craft that can maneuver like UFOs. WE CAN and WE DO.
3. The UFOs are a threat. THEY ARE NOT.

Bold statements. Watch the film below and see what resonates most with you.

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PGA Tour To End COVID Testing For Both Vaccinated & Non-Vaccinated Players

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CE Staff Writer 4 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The PGA Tour has announced that it will stop testing players every week, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.

  • Reflect On:

    Are PCR tests appropriate to identify infectious people? Should people who are healthy and not sick be tested at all, anywhere?

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The picture you see above is of John Rahm, a professional golfer on the PGA tour being carted off the golf course after tournament officials told him he had COVID. He was healthy and had no symptoms, yet was forced to withdraw from the tournament. He was told in front of the camera’s, and a big scene was made out of the event. You would think something like that, especially when you are a big time sports figure, would be done behind closed doors with some privacy.

Earlier on in June a spokesperson for the PGA Tour said that more than 50 percent of players on the PGA tour have been vaccinated. Although it seems that the majority of players on the tour will be fully vaccinated judging by this statement, it does leave a fairly large minority who won’t be, and that’s something we’re seeing across the globe as COVID vaccine hesitancy remains high for multiple reasons.

We are pleased to announce, after consultation with PGA Tour medical advisors, that due to the high rate of vaccination among all constituents on the PGA Tour, as well as other positively trending factors across the country, testing for COVID-19 will no longer be required as a condition of competition beginning with the 3M Open. – PGA tour Senior VP Tyler Dennis

The tour recently announced that the testing of players every week will stop starting in July for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. This was an unexpected announcement given the fact that, at least it seems in some countries, vaccinated individuals will enjoy previous rights and freedoms that everyone did before the pandemic. Travelling without need to quarantine and possibly in the future not having to be tested could be a few of those privileges. Others may include attending concerts, sporting events, or perhaps even keeping their job depending on whether or not their employer deems it to be mandatory, if that’s even legally possible. We will see what happens.

Luckily for professional golfers, regardless of their vaccination status they won’t have to worry about testing positive for COVID, especially if they’re not sick. This is the appropriate move by the PGA tour, who is represented by their players and it’s a move that the players themselves may have had a say in. It’s important because PCR tests are not designed nor are they appropriate for identifying infectious people. A number of scientists have been emphasizing this since the beginning of the pandemic. More recently, a letter to the editor published in the Journal of infection explain why more than half of al “positive” PCR tests are likely to have been people who are not infectious, otherwise known as “false positives.”

This is why the Swedish Public Health agency has a notice on their website explaining how and why polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are not useful for determining if someone is infected with COVID or if someone can transmit it to others, and it’s better to use someone who is actually showing symptoms as a judgement call of whether or not they could be infected or free from infection.

PCR tests using a high cycle threshold are extremely sensitive. An article published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that among positive PCR samples with a cycle count over 35, only 3 percent of the samples showed viral replication. This can be interpreted as, if someone tests positive via PCR when a Ct of 35 or higher is used, the probability that said person is actually infected is less than 3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97 percent. This begs the question, why has Manitoba, Canada, for example, using cycle thresholds of up to 45 to identify “positive” people?

When it comes to golf, the fact that spread occurring in an outdoor setting is highly unlikely could have been a factor, but it’s also important to mention that asymptomatic spread within one’s own household is also considerably rare. It really makes you wonder what’s going on here, doesn’t it?

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