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  • Hillary Clinton’s Alinskyite Attacks on Pharma Companies

    Posted by Jonathan on August 25th, 2016 (All posts by )

    “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” (Saul Alinsky)

    Hillary is clever to go after individual companies. If she attacked the pharma industry as a whole, it could unite politically in response and perhaps gain political support from other industries that would reasonably see themselves as similarly vulnerable. But individual companies have no defenses against this kind of attack. By singling out one victim she discourages other industry players from doing anything in response, because any company or industry group that responds risks being targeted in the future.

    She has done this kind of thing before. She will probably keep doing it because it’s politically effective. Her attack on Mylan destroyed a large amount of wealth, and probably not just for Mylan’s shareholders. Today Mylan’s CEO is groveling in the media. As with past political attacks by Hillary and others on vaccine manufacturers, yesterday’s attack on Mylan will discourage pharma companies from introducing valuable new products and will reduce the availability of current products. We will probably see more of this kind of extortionate behavior by the federal govt if she is elected, because that’s how the Clintons operate and because a Hillary administration would appoint more lefty judges and DOJ and regulatory officials who would go along with it.

     

    42 Responses to “Hillary Clinton’s Alinskyite Attacks on Pharma Companies”

    1. dearieme Says:

      “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Everyone always blames Alinsky for this, but it’s pure Thomas Jefferson.

    2. Jonathan Says:

      Do you think it’s more likely Hillary learned this tactic from Jefferson or from Alinsky?

    3. Mike K Says:

      Epipen is not a new product.

      I remember when Tamoxifen was first used in humans. It was a veterinarian drug and the price went up by orders of magnitude when human application was found.

      Premarin was also first used in 1941.

      The principle complaint by the Wall Street Journal is about the FDA and the capture of regulatory agencies by politically connected industries. The Mylan CEO is also a political princess with a fake MBA degree.

      Mylan has raised the price of EpiPen in semiannual 10% to 15% tranches so that a two-pack that cost about $100 in 2008 now runs $500 or more after insurance discounts and coupons. Outrage seems to be peaking now because more families are exposed to drug prices directly though insurance deductibles and co-pays, plus the political class has discovered another easy corporate villain.

      Still, the steady Mylan rise is hard to read as anything other than inevitable when a billion-dollar market is cornered by one supplier. Epinephrine is a basic and super-cheap medicine, and the EpiPen auto-injector device has been around since the 1970s.

      Thus EpiPen should be open to generic competition, which cuts prices dramatically for most other old medicines. Competitors have been trying for years to challenge Mylan’s EpiPen franchise with low-cost alternatives—only to become entangled in the Food and Drug Administration’s regulatory afflatus.

      I am not sympathetic toward these political monopolies.

    4. Mike K Says:

      Jefferson was pretty much anti any industry.

    5. Ginny Says:

      Why is it that the essential argument of those that call themselves “progressives” is to drag the US and if possible the world back to a world that is static in terms of innovations and discoveries, static in terms of class distinctions (the elites rule without having done anything) and, of course, declining in terms of the average life – health, wealth, productivity?

    6. Jonathan Says:

      I am not sympathetic toward these political monopolies.

      Neither am I. No doubt Mylan made itself vulnerable. However, that doesn’t justify Hillary’s crude attack. The decent approach for a highly visible politician with a bully pulpit is to advocate deregulation and profit-driven R&D, and to encourage price-cutting for mature products through competition. The Alinskyite approach is to panic the herd by picking off a weakened individual. The decent approach benefits consumers, investors and the industry as a whole. The Alinskyite approach benefits the pols and wannabe pols who benefit from shakedowns. Hillary’s attack on Mylan is clever because it targets a company for which many people lack sympathy, but that doesn’t mean the attack is justified or without substantial public cost.

    7. morgan Says:

      The only profit Hillary seems interested in is her own. Maybe Mylan didn’t get the message; a contribution to the Clinton Foundation might make her have an attitude adjustment.

    8. Mike K Says:

      “that doesn’t justify Hillary’s crude attack.”

      It is interesting to see Hillary go after a company that is run by a political person who is a contributor to the Clinton Crime Family.

      Maybe Hillary just can’t keep the favors straight since there are so many.

      We now live in a country where, if there is any question, criminal conspiracies are assumed to exist.

      In anthropology, those are called “Low Trust Societies.”

      Expect society to slowly regress into a sort of feudal order. You have your castles and walled villages where you feel safe, yes. But the problem with this is not that there are some neighborhoods that are safe and some that aren’t, we have that to an extent already. No, the issue is that like in feudal times the very roads you take from one place to another become dangerous. This will be a huge problem in cities in particular.

      I avoided Naples one time years ago after hearing a fellow tourist describe a robbery by men on a motor scooter when they were stuck in traffic.

      I live in a safe California suburb but, if Hillary is elected, we are probably going to move to a less urban place and probably in a red state like Arizona.

    9. Mike K Says:

      Even the Chicago Tribune is piling on the young female CEO and her $19 million salary.

    10. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      Hillary can attack this target because there is no chance of her donor/supporter suffering any consequences.

      1) The president of Mylan is the daughter of Senator Joe Manchin [D-WVa] who becomes pro-2nd Amendment and pro-coal every 6 years but who is otherwise a trusted supporter of the regime. We can be pretty sure than any congressional investigation of a Democrat Senator’s daughter will be shut down by both sides of the aisle right smartly.

      2) The fake Master’s Degree [given in more detail here: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/2008/05/04/The-story-of-a-cover-up/stories/200805040203 ] was when she was not the Senator’s daughter, but rather Governor Manchin’s daughter; which in and of itself seems to be an academic qualification equivalent to an advanced degree not requiring coursework or tuition.

      She is part of the Nobility, and nothing will be done; especially because it affects mostly the peasants. There will be a few days of ranting, then it will be dropped.

    11. Xennady Says:

      I recall in 2006 Amy Klobucher used the Medicare part D prohibition against the government negotiating for bulk discounts in drug purchases in an ad against her GOP senate opponent, Mark Kennedy.

      She correctly noted that the ban, put in place by Billy Tauzin and his drug industry clients, was a travesty.

      Of course nothing was done to reverse it, or bring sanity to the American drug industry and its endless government-approved schemes to screw people.

      Now I regret if a I sound like a communist, but this has been a topic I not only read about but hear of personally, as people I know are shocked to find that the decades old, cheap to produce medication they need suddenly costs thousands of dollars- or is banned, requiring the use of an expensive, patented substitute.

      If we had a real honest-to-goodness opposition party this wouldn’t be tolerated, as the politics are so ugly. But because we don’t, we have endless travesties such as the epi-pen fiasco.

      I have much less than no sympathy for Mylan, its CEO, or its shareholders. They deserve every bit of the ruin that I hope descends upon them, as they richly deserve it.

      If the pharma industry wanted to avoid the likely de facto nationalization by Hillary, they should refrained from their endless grifting, and allowed market forces some sort of play in their cozy, monopolistic playhouse.

      But no, because their avarice was too insatiable.

      Of course the supposed free market party, the GOP, is nowhere to be seen- as usual. No doubt it has been too busy cashing pharma’s checks to soil itself with grubby politics, or defending its supposed principles.

      Pitiful.

    12. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      Xennady Says:
      August 25th, 2016 at 3:30 pm

      Of course the supposed free market party, the GOP, is nowhere to be seen- as usual. No doubt it has been too busy cashing pharma’s checks to soil itself with grubby politics, or defending its supposed principles.

      The only principles the GOP have are to enable anything and everything the Democrats want, and to be at open war with its own voters constantly.

      Nemesis is long delayed sometimes, but it comes in the end.

    13. Mike K Says:

      If the pharma industry wanted to avoid the likely de facto nationalization by Hillary,

      Don’t forget her nationalization of the national Vaccine system

      I tried to find the WSJ story of how she destroyed the vaccine industry.

      Here it is.

      Everyone knows America’s vaccine industry is in serious trouble, with an ever dwindling number of producers and recent severe vaccine shortages. What everyone also should know is that the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine has now pinned much of the blame on Hillary Rodham Clinton.

      Well, not in so many words. The panel of doctors and economists issuing a report on vaccines last week was too polite to mention the former First Lady by name. But they identify as a fundamental cause of the problem the fact that the government purchases 55% of the childhood vaccine market at forced discount prices. The result has been “declining financial incentives to develop and produce vaccines.”

      Nobody will remember that. But us dinosaurs.

    14. G Joubert Says:

      One must be careful to differentiate conservative thought and philosophy from Republican practices. They’re not the same, and never have been.

    15. Jonathan Says:

      I have much less than no sympathy for Mylan, its CEO, or its shareholders. They deserve every bit of the ruin that I hope descends upon them, as they richly deserve it.

      Why do you think Hillary’s attack on Mylan affects only Mylan shareholders? I’d say it took something out of the share prices of other pharma companies, and perhaps the overall stock market yesterday as well. People in pharma and other industries will get the message even if bystanders think Mylan had it coming. Feeding other people to the crocodile in the hope it won’t eat you isn’t a winning strategy.

      Does anyone with a lick of sense expect a Hillary administration to be favorable to drug R&D or to increased availability of the latest drug therapies to ordinary people?

    16. Mike K Says:

      Does anyone with a lick of sense expect a Hillary administration to be favorable to drug R&D

      A lot depends on how much they have spent on the Clinton Crime Family. I don’t think we can overestimate the level of cynicism now in the American public, even Democrats.

    17. Xennady Says:

      Why do you think Hillary’s attack on Mylan affects only Mylan shareholders? I’d say it took something out of the share prices of other pharma companies, and perhaps the overall stock market yesterday as well. People in pharma and other industries will get the message even if bystanders think Mylan had it coming. Feeding other people to the crocodile in the hope it won’t eat you isn’t a winning strategy.

      I know full well that Hillary’s attack on Mylan will have other consequences, but considering how well the stock market has done in recent years my concern for the shareholders is somewhere way down the list.

      In fact I think a key failing of American governance of late is a terribly warped sense of the importance of the stock market and its valuation, which has led to awful choices with grim consequences.

      One of those awful choices was the failure of George Bush to successfully reform the government-provided portion of the American healthcare system, which I’ve already mentioned. This made the pharmaceutical industry hundreds of billions of extra dollars, made Billy Tauzin very wealthy, and help paved the way for the slow-motion catastrophe of Obamacare.

      But the shareholders, the sacred shareholders! They’re what really matters!! We can’t let market forces disrupt their rate of return!!!

      Pardon my cynicism, with a hat tip to Mike K.

    18. fiona Says:

      THe epi-pen is generic. An identical product is produced by Teva and a similar one by another generic drug company. The first has been 9 MONTHS with the FDA without any action. At first I thought the Teva drug was being disadvantaged because it is perceived as Israeli, although it is not. Then I found out about the CEO’s dad in the Senate – not a mystery to the minions of the FDA – and the light dawned. Our very own nobility being passed down the generations. Maybe Sen. Joe is being punished because he can’t come out for Hillary because of her coal comments in WestVA.

    19. Jonathan Says:

      A well-executed political attack gets your opponents to quarrel with each other rather than unite against you.

    20. PenGun Says:

      You have a ‘for profit’ medical system. That’s your problem.

    21. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      PenGun Says:
      August 26th, 2016 at 11:53 am

      http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/elderly-couple-forced-live-apart-weep-heartbreaking-photo-n638336

    22. PenGun Says:

      That’s the best you can do? That’s only just health care BTW, it’s elderly care and certainly a part of our national welfare system. Only the very poor would end up in a total care situation like this one.

      No one likes this and even our rather nasty right wing BC government, who is to blame for this, will fix this particular aberration.

    23. Brian Says:

      Megan McArdle had a good on-point column this week:
      https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-08-23/health-care-is-a-business-not-a-right

      Not that it matters. As her own story shows, there’s no talking about this issue. The fact is that people don’t want health insurance–they want someone else to pay for their medical care. They just don’t want to have to think about it. They’d rather have crappy care given to them for “free” then to have to deal with the stress of paying for it themselves.

      I remember reading a story in the LA Times 10 years ago or so where the author had some unnamed serious medical condition that had caused her serious medical problems one two occasions, once in the UK and once in the US. In the UK she saw how patients are basically left to themselves on cots in the hallway, and only patients with seriously dedicated family members who harassed the staff received any attention at all. She was young and able to drag herself out of bed to insist on being treated. She recovered. In the US, she got impeccable coverage inn every way. Plus a very large bill. She said she preferred the UK system.

    24. Xennady Says:

      Shorter PenGun: Go away reality, no one likes you.

    25. Xennady Says:

      A well-executed political attack gets your opponents to quarrel with each other rather than unite against you.

      This strikes me as completely true.

      But the fact that Hillary’s attack upon democrat Joe Manchin’s daughter’s crony capitalist quasi-monopoly has managed to be any sort of a well-executed political attack is only because the gop is such a shambling miserable failure of a political party.

      Plainly, I have a low opinion of that party, yet I must admit that I am astonished that somehow this has managed to be perceived as a criticism against a free market– a free market that does not actually exist.

      If the gop really believed in any of the steely free-market principles I see so much about they’d never have tolerated Billy Tauzin’s ruinous cronyism, or the crazy assertions that we shouldn’t be allowed to buy drugs from Canada, because they weren’t “safe,” or the insane government-engineered profit margins on decades-old medical treatments- and the party would be very capable of quickly refuting this nonsense charge, from Hillary. We don’t live in that happy universe, alas.

      At this point, I think the gop is nothing more than a sham and a lie intended to fool people into thinking they have some sort of representation with the regime.

      Otherwise, any real free-market party would have already objected, strenuously, to the sort of nonsense that has become default behavior from rather too much of the American business community.

      This won’t end well, as the cliche aptly notes.

    26. Mike K Says:

      “You have a ‘for profit’ medical system. That’s your problem.”

      Pennie, you obviously have no idea how to run any sort of business.

      I spent 40 years running a medical practice. Currently, I work part time for the federal government.

      It’s an interesting contrast and a source of many amusing anecdotes among my medical colleagues. We spent two hours today learning about regulation changes. None significant.

    27. PenGun Says:

      Oh well. You are the only first world country with a second or perhaps even third world medical system.

      Your rich are well taken care of, the rest, not so much.

    28. tomw Says:

      SquirtGun:
      Oh well. You are the only first world country with a second or perhaps even third world medical system.

      And that is why so many ‘medical tourists’ visit Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic and a host of others. Second or third world medical system my gluteus maximus.

      I ask where are the newest procedures developed? I think USA.
      Where are the MRI machines? I read recently there were more in Los Angeles than in all of Manitoba or Saskatchewan(or BC? Sorry, memory is not what it was.)
      Rationing of medicine is more standard in Britain, and ‘palliative care’ is much more common. Documented, from what I’ve read.
      Just wait, under PPACA, rationing will happen here, and then we’ll start to approach 2nd or 3rd world. Exactly at the same time that physicians become full-time Federal Government Employees.
      Told my brothers to send their sons off to the bank rather than med school for that reason. The youngest Doc of the three wonders if he’ll be ‘drafted’ into Uncles employ, shouting and kicking objections…
      Those who want ‘single payer’ should be allowed that luxury(?)- ON THEIR DIME. Those who choose otherwise, ditto. We’ll see which is more ‘popular’.
      Remember, “You can keep your doctor, you can keep your health insurance. I guaran-dam-tee it.” Sure. Bridge for sale. Kinda picturesque what with the fog and ‘golden’ color… Make offer…

    29. PenGun Says:

      There are no first world countries that would trade their medical system for yours. There would be riots in the streets.

    30. Mike K Says:

      Pennie, I doubt you know anything about health care systems other than Canada.

      I made a study of them some years ago and concluded that France has the best for a large country. I doubt you have any idea of how they work.

      I doubt you have any idea how ours works or why Obamacare destroyed it.

      Fortunately, the Democrats were too cowardly to try to destroy the employer based part of it so it can recover if Hillary is not elected.

      They only destroyed the middle class small purchaser part. Ironically, that hurt a lot of their own voters.

      If Hillary is elected and tries to force single payer, she will have four years of guerilla war in Congress and will lose a second term if she survives that long.

    31. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      Mike K Says:
      August 29th, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      If Hillary is elected and tries to force single payer, she will have four years of guerilla war in Congress and will lose a second term if she survives that long.

      I agree with all but the quoted part.

      The four years of guerilla war in Congress implies the assumption that there is an opposition to the Democrats in Congress to wage it. I submit that the Republican party has proved for the last decade that they are the accomplices of the Left and not an opposition. Further, the attempt to impose State Controlled and Rationed at the Whim of the State medical care will be part of a continuum of other efforts to collectivize and subdue the country. The guerilla war will not be in Congress, but in the country. And 4th Generation.

      But then again, you may well be more optimistic than I.

    32. Joe Wooten Says:

      There are no first world countries that would trade their medical system for yours. There would be riots in the streets.

      Pennie,

      If Canada’s system is so great, then why are a lot of the license plates on cars in the parking lot in clinics/hospitals in International Falls and Buffalo from Canada? Why did the premier of Newfoundland go to Florida for his heart surgery? Why are there more CAT/PET scanners in Philadelphia than in all of Canada?

    33. PenGun Says:

      A I said, and as your comments have pretty well supported, you have a system for rich people, not your general population. Of course our rich will take advantage of your system as well. From today:

      https://theintercept.com/2016/08/27/obamacares-faltering-for-one-simple-reason-profit/

    34. Subotai Bahadur Says:

      PenGun Says:
      August 30th, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      We have/had a system, not for the rich, but a system that suits/suited our people.

      I am far from rich. I live in a small town in the mountains of Colorado [for comparison with you on Vancouver Island, just a little bigger than Port Alberni]. I am retired, living on a pension. For reasons I will not go into, in the last month I had need of an MRI of the head, and fairly quickly. Within a couple of days of the doctor saying I needed one, I had one, here in my own home town. It cost me a couple of hundred dollars [and no, I am not on Obamacare. I am a deliberate outlaw on that matter, specifically because the cheapest Obamacare premium is half of my pension a month and has a deductible before it covers anything of 1/3 of my annual income].

      My small town does not have a neurologist, but within literally minutes after completion, the scan was in the office of a neurologist in a nearby city. Our system uses technology to save lives. We were able to narrow down the diagnosis greatly.

      I have known a number of Canadians, most from BC, and am more than passing fond of Vancouver Island and have visited it a number of times. [Don’t worry, I will avoid Coombs in the future, for your peace of mind.]

      From my experience, those Canadians who want to live, want access to American medicine. That makes them the evil rich in Leftist theology. Those who want more than anything that there be no differences between anybody [excepting, of course the governing elite] want Canadian care which is routine care when you are healthy and the cheapest palliative care until you die if you are not healthy.

      Our current governing regime wants to force Canadian and European medicine on us against our will. The issue is still being contested, and if only because it is a literal life and death matter, it will be contested on that basis.

    35. Jonathan Says:

      SB, best wishes and good health.

    36. Joe Wooten Says:

      So Pennie, the rich in Canada drive Fords, Chevy’s, and Chryslers eh? I did not see any Lexus, Rolls Royces, Cadillacs, Mercedes, or BMWs with Canadian plates in the Parking lot…..

    37. PenGun Says:

      “[Don’t worry, I will avoid Coombs in the future, for your peace of mind.]”

      I do. It’s insane in the summer. I’m not sure what my ‘peace of mind’ means, you don’t frighten me and I’m not sure what else would be a problem.

      If I needed an MRI, there are many places nearby, and it would cost me nothing. My doctor would send me to a place about 10 miles from my place. Our medical system is generally well networked. I had my all blood work online in 24 hours, most of it was up in a couple of hours.

    38. Mike K Says:

      Pennie has nothing to say about the reasons for the huge medical centers in Minnesota and Spokane Washington which are much larger than necessary for the local population. Mayo Clinic does draw from all over but Spokane has a limited area to attract patients.

      You could also ask Natasha Richardson about the immediate access to MRIs in Canada but, oh wait…..

      She died.

    39. PenGun Says:

      “You could also ask Natasha Richardson about the immediate access to MRIs in Canada but, oh wait…..

      She died.”

      Did you even read the link you posted? There’s nothing about MRI anywhere and she was obviously her own worst enemy in this incident.

    40. Jonathan Says:

      “epidural hematoma”

      …At 12:43 p.m. Monday, the first call to the paramedics was made. An ambulance arrived at 1 p.m. and transported Richardson from the foot of the mountain to the infirmary by sleigh.
       
      Richardson thought she was fine and didn’t want to stay at the infirmary. At 1:10 p.m., Richardson signed hospital waiver paperwork and walked 300 yards to hotel along with her ski instructor. She was back in her room by 1:30 p.m.
       
      At 2:59 p.m., paramedics received a second call for help. An ambulance showed up at the hotel exactly ten minutes later. Richardson was conscious but showing signs that made paramedics call the hematology department at the Centre Hospitalier Laurentien in Ste-Agathe, where the ambulance took her.

      I think the point is that her injury wasn’t diagnosed in time. I suspect that most people taken to US emergency rooms after accidents of the type Richardson suffered would be given CT or MRI scans as standard procedure, and that such a scan would have revealed the nature of her injury in time to save her.

    41. PenGun Says:

      Our system takes care of every citizen. No one is bankrupted by medical bills, and we are a generally healthy society.

      You are welcome to your system and it’s benefits. I like ours much better.

    42. PenGun Says:

      LOL. It appears that Mylan is in rather serious trouble. trouble:

      “It has recently come to our attention” that Mylan classified EpiPen as generic drug under Medicaid Drug Rebate Program even though it is a branded drug under FDA’s new drug application.

      According to Wyden and Pallone, EpiPen may have been incorrectly designated as a generic in the Medicaid program since at least 1997, despite being considered a brand-name drug by the Food and Drug Administration and Medicare.

      This would mean Mylan has been “vastly underpaying rebates owed to Medicaid for the EpiPen for years,”