The anti big pharma group has decided to target Democrats instead of Republicans on their ad where they talk about Democrats really are not carrying their weight where comes to pushing back with the pharma industry. Ring of Fire’s Mike Papantonio and Farron Cousins discuss this issue.

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Mike Papantonio: Welcome back to Ring of Fire. I’m Mike Papantonio here with Farron Cousins. Farron, the anti big pharma group has decided to target Democrats instead of Republicans on their ad where they talk about Democrats really are not carrying their weight where comes to pushing back with the pharma industry. Now this is a big story, okay. This is a big story because these advocacy groups, I mean they’ve had a natural target. I mean look, Republicans where it comes to big pharma we’ve always known, yeah they’re always gonna side up with big pharma. They’ve always gotten big money from big pharma, but what we’ve started seeing, I call it the Cory Booker years, okay.

It really started just maybe five years before a Cory Booker type comes along. Wall Street Democrats is what we call them. Where Cory Booker great example, while I’m thinking about it. Cory Booker comes out … By the way, he wants to run for President of the United States. Wait till this story comes out where Cory Booker is the person who rounded up the votes to defeat a measure that was going to pass in Congress where we would have a way to lower pharmaceutical drug prices. Who was the person who headed it up? Cory Booker. So, these advocacy groups are saying, do you know what? Why are we just talking about Republicans? Democrats are just as bad here when it comes to this issue. Pick it up from there.

Farron Cousins: I think this is a great move, and to be honest, I think this is something they should have done from the very beginning. Look, it would appear based on public opinion polls at this point that Medicare for All, lowering prescription drug prices, those are inevitabilities right her in the United States. Some time, probably in the next 10 to 15 years, those things are gonna become a reality because of the public pressure. Republicans do not respond to public pressure. They do not respond to these outside activist organizations ever. Democrats, that’s the only way they know how to do anything. If it’s a corporation paying them they’ll do that. If it’s public pressure telling them don’t do it, well then they won’t do it. And so this group would have been better served spending their money from the beginning targeting people like Cory Booker, but instead-

Mike Papantonio: And cleaning out the party.

Farron Cousins: Right.

Mike Papantonio: Cleaning up the party, basically.

Farron Cousins: … instead you have people like, Howard Dean who at one point when he was running for president in ’04 wanted Medicare for All. One of the first to even say that phrase, but then he became a lobbyist for the pharmaceutical health care industry, and now he’s saying that’s a stupid idea. You’re an idiot if you believe it.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. I mean literally he’s changed 180 and it’s all about dinero. I mean it’s all about money. Okay, so look when I saw this story you know the story that I thought about is I thought about this story we did a few weeks ago where Perez comes out and says, “Do you know what? We need to start taking fossil fuel money again.” Okay.

Farron Cousins: God.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. “We need to start taking fossil fuel money again.” Now that’s after Perez is appointed to the DNC. You know what their new slogan is? Is, For The People. We care about people. We don’t care about anybody, but people. It ain’t looking like that when you look at this story. So, what they did they opened up this idea, this flood of money now coming from the fossil fuel industry, are Democrats. This is the same thing, isn’t it?

Farron Cousins: It’s exactly the same thing. And that For The People it sounds like a cheesy law firm slogan here, but that’s what they’re going with. And so, the fossil fuel money, the pharmaceutical money, they’re taking the Wall Street money. They’re taking money from every corporation while on the surface trying to say, well maybe, maybe Medicare for All. No, we don’t like fossil fuel money. They think everybody stops looking. We did a story on how great it was that they weren’t going to take it, and then they came back, and they thought everybody had moved on. And then they say, all right we’re voting. The vote on that, I have it right here, was 28 to 4 among the party elites to say let’s take it because we just want it. Well, here’s the reasoning. They totally lied about why they did it because in the original ban it’s still allowed people who worked for … The average coal miner he could donate to the part still, but Perez told us that we reversed the ban because it didn’t allow workers from the industry to give us money, and that wasn’t fair to them.

Mike Papantonio: Oh, God.

Farron Cousins: It was a lie. It was a shame.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. Well, here it is. We got sucked into the lie, didn’t we?

Farron Cousins: We did, unfortunately.

Mike Papantonio: We came on the show and we said, “Oh man, this is great. Perez is making this proclamation that you’re not gonna buy us.” Perez made, “You’re not gonna buy Democrats because we’re different than Republicans.” Now, we do this story and literally a month later Perez comes out and says, “You know, we thought about that. This money’s pretty good money. Maybe we oughta take it anyway.”

Drug companies have now taking to suing one another for hiding the danger. I love this story. They’re suing each other because one’s hiding the dangers of opioids. And so, we got Allergan that is suing Pfizer. Okay. Allergan is manufacturing saying, oh we didn’t know how dangerous this drug is, and now we’re being sued by counties, and cities, and people all over the country because we didn’t know. Pfizer must have lied to us. I mean come on, really. I’m taking depositions in this case right now. I am not exaggerating when I tell you the people sitting across from me in these depositions are people at the top of the management of these companies. We’re talking about civil suit here, really. This oughta be going well beyond a civil suit. This oughta be a Department of Justice criminal case. It still hasn’t developed. What is your take on this? How can Allergan possibly say we didn’t know?

Farron Cousins: This is so funny because the drug in question here is a drug called Kadian. It’s an opioid, but they didn’t develop it. Allergan didn’t. Pfizer didn’t develop it. It was Alpharma Incorporated. They made it. They ran the test. Then they sold it to King Pharmaceuticals, which kinda gave it to Pfizer, but then Pfizer allowed another company Actavis, they acquired Allergan then they bought that drug. So, it passed hands, which is common.

Mike Papantonio: But the bottom line is …

Farron Cousins: They knew how addictive it was. They lied not only to doctors and consumers, they lied the other drug companies trying to buy it, and in my opinion shouldn’t this really be damning for these opioids lawsuits?

Mike Papantonio: Oh, it’s-

Farron Cousins: I mean when you have the pharmaceutical companies saying, yes they knew it was addictive.

Mike Papantonio: Exactly. That’s what’s happening. Look, there is no honor among thieves. This is like a bunch of rats trying to jump off the ship because it’s sinking. So, the rats are jumping off the ship. So, Allergan lawsuit is only the first we’re gonna see in a lot of these cases. They’re saying look, we’re not the biggest rat. The biggest rat is Perdu. This biggest rat is McKesson. The biggest rat is … They’re all in it together. This is the best RICO case I’ve ever seen because they all worked to cause this catastrophe in America that is killing a 150 people a day, still. Costing, what was it, 2 trillion dollars it’s cost the economy so far, and it’s gonna cost 500 billion dollars a year just to clean up their mess that they now want taxpayers to pay for where cities and counties have lost gazillions of dollars.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.