LJWorld.com weblogs Congressional Briefing

Brownback wants drugs for poor nations


Not much to pontificate about today. Let's go to the links...Sam Brownback links[(KC Star) Brownback's plan would entice cures for diseases:][1] Sam Brownback doesn't begrudge American men their drugstore virility. He just thinks drug companies should focus on saving more than people's sex lives.The Kansas senator, a Republican and a leading social conservative, has introduced legislation that he hopes will spur drug companies to develop cures for diseases that debilitate and kill millions of people every year in poor nations.The carrot: If the companies come up with such cures, they would get six-month to two-year extensions on patents for the so-called "lifestyle" drugs aimed at problems like erectile dysfunction. A patent extension on a single popular drug could be worth billions of dollars to a company's bottom line, experts said.[(Yekir.am in Armenia) Bill on Support to South Caucasus States Introduced before US Senate:][2] A bill on support to states of the South Caucasus and Central Asia for ensuring US national security interests, containing Russia's geopolitical ambition, as well as creation and support to a network of US military bases is introduced before the US Senate. Bill co-sponsor, Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) stated that US vital interests in the Caspian region include ensuring independence and security of Azerbaijan and Georgia. Extremely important pipelines of oil and gas transit pass through those countries. [(Washington Post) Senate, House GOP increasingly at odds:][3] From immigration policy to energy to emergency spending, House Republican leaders are publicly breaking ranks with their counterparts in the Senate, fearing that Senate efforts at compromise are jeopardizing the party's standing with conservative voters.The tension, in some sense, is built into the system, said Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., a former House member. Because they represent an entire state, senators must tend toward compromise. Since senators stand for re-election every six years, only 15 Republicans are facing this year's stiff headwind, compared to all 231 Republicans in the House. Some House Republicans believe their Senate colleagues are insensitive to their political difficulties.[(Dallas Morning News)Migrant expenses may fall to states:][4] As the Senate inches toward votes on a plan that would legalize millions of immigrants, one topic remains unaddressed: What would be the effect on state and local governments?Legalization supporters argue that the Congressional Budget Office estimate ignores the gains that would accrue if illegal immigrants come out of the shadows: more tax payments, greater worker productivity and the prospect that some would move to better-paying jobs with health insurance."I hope we also get some credit [in cost estimates] for how much these people are going to be working and how much they are going to be paying in taxes," said Sen. Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican who strongly supports the Senate legalization plan. "Immigration study after study has shown this is a powerful, positive force in this economy."How to contactAs always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][5] [1]: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/14580632.htm [2]: http://www.yerkir.am/eng/index.php?sub=news_arm&id=23704 [3]: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002994718_gop15.html [4]: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/051506dnnatimmigcosts.da278db.html [5]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed


staff04 11 years, 10 months ago

Ahhh...so noble. Now how about we do something for the seniors and disadvantaged in this country?

Sigmund 11 years, 10 months ago

If the current illegal immigration continues from Mexico, we will have to pay for Mexico's health care in the near future as well. Damn, do you get the feeling that there is an election coming up and the politico's are opening up your checkbook to bribe poorer voters into voting for them?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 11 years, 10 months ago

This is a great idea, but yes, with all the concerns we have about the cost of drugs in OUR country, why waste this opportunity on other nations?

Vanity drugs/ding-a-ling drugs are big money. This could really have an impact.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 11 years, 10 months ago

Just what we need, cure sexual dysfunction in the poor nations so they can make more people to starve, commit to terrorism, illegally immigrate to the U.S. and create over-population. Who voted for this jerk, anyway???????

xenophonschild 11 years, 10 months ago

Our Sam is trying hard to move closer to the center to make himself more attractive as a vice-presidential candidate.

He's not fooling anybody, though. His ties to the born-again idiots are too well known; we don't need another version of the present lollipops in office.

mom_of_three 11 years, 10 months ago

Brownback has a good proposal. We will let you make money on the vanity drugs if you produce drugs that will help the nations that need it. But I would also like to reduce drug costs in this country.

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 10 months ago

Brownback's proposal sounds reasonable at first blush (e.g. using market forces to address a problem). The proposal has several sticky points related to the consequences of the plan being implemented.

First, the cost of curing third-world diseases would be placed on insurance companies (longer patent times means more expensive drugs for a longer period of time, paid for by insurance companies). This in turn would mean higher insurance rates for consumers.

Second, who is going to "police" the drug companies to ensure that they are investing in "third world" diseases, and how much investment is enough? Do the drug companies need to invest all their profits from increased patent lengths? If so, why bother? 75%, 50%, 25%? Drug companies operate for a profit, so why would they bother with a zero-sum game?

Some problems, most of which involving health care, are not dealt with effectively by the market. Market forces can certainly be used, but it is going to take more than a market-oriented fix to solve the health care problems in the US let alone the world.

nonimbyks 11 years, 10 months ago

With all the poor nations out there, I'd want some drugs too!

yourworstnightmare 11 years, 10 months ago

Which Pope? The current Pope? I thought Opus Dei cathoholics broke with the Pope over Vatican V.

Cait McKnelly 11 years, 10 months ago

Drugs for POOR nations? I want drugs for THIS nation! I am an insulin dependent diabetic. On my previous health care coverage I received three bottles of insulin (one per month) for $20. My syringes were fully reimbursed ($25 a box of 100. I get one shot per day so it lasts me a little over 3 months). My strips for my glucose meter ($60 per 100) were also reimbursed. I test twice a day so that works out to almost 2 months. My health care insurance is through my husbands employer. January 1st of this year we were forced to a new carrier that was cheaper for his employer. Under the new coverage the cost of my insulin TRIPLED. My needles and strips aren't even COVERED. I have been told that even so I have it good. The insulin I am on without insurance is $100 A BOTTLE. YES I SAID $100 A BOTTLE. I need this stuff just to LIVE. God help us if my husband ever loses his job.

The_Twelve 11 years, 10 months ago

Here's one for Brownie: How 'bout you take your net worth of $7m+ and buy stock in a pharmaceutical co?--Then turn the company around from the inside, developing drugs for poor Americans AND poor nations. That way you'd be doing good Christian work, as well as living by your own capitalist ideals!

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