As the FDA looks into changing the prescription pill system in order to reduce incentives for doctors to prescribe the most expensive option, Big Pharma is employing sneaky tactics to lie their way out of increased regulation.

As it currently stands, it is beneficial for a doctor to prescribe a name-brand pill to a consumer because it offers an increased payout to the doctor, even if the cheaper brand would be just as effective or even more so for the patient.

In an effort to curb this bias toward more expensive drugs, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services are proposing a reform which would even the playing field for these types of drugs and cut out the monetary benefit of prescribing one drug over another. In doing so, drug costs would be lowered and drug companies would no longer benefit as much from charging sky-high prices on drugs that have generic alternatives.

Unfortunately, drug companies are not at all pleased with this reform and are paying off consumer groups to pretend they aren’t pleased either. Out of 147 patient groups which signed letters opposing the reform, a shocking 110 received funding from Big Pharma.

Though that figure may be shocking to you, it is apparently just another part of the Big Pharma game as these patient groups are not required to report who funds them, even if it has a chance of affecting their performance in advocating for or against issues like these.

A separate report also found that members of Congress who opposed the reform were also receiving more Big Pharma cash than those who supported it – any surprise there?

On issues as important as these, which can mean life or death for so many Americans who depend on affordable, comprehensive care, why are we playing fast and loose with regulations allowing Big Pharma to set the rules and tear them down at will?

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Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com