This is what rapacious, unbridled greed and utter disregard for the poor looks like:
Of course, now that I’ve primed you with some information about him, he even kind of looks creepy, doesn’t he? His name is Stephen Ubl and he’s the new CEO (as of September 2015) of the pharmaceutical lobbying organization, PhRMA, which was one of the biggest and earliest lobbying groups pushing for passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Last week, in what can only be called a “corporate hissy fit,” Ubl and his den of thieves announced they were doing a “360” on their (expensive) well-established advocacy of TPP and withdrawing their support of the deal. Why? Because they didn’t feel that the government handouts (corporate welfare package on a global scale) were sufficient. Wait, isn’t that what the GOP said they hated when they used their fake disdain for government assistance to attack such “money pits” as Sesame Street? Hmm. Anyway, I digress.
As Open Secrets reported last week:
“After extensively lobbying to support TPP, PhRMA recoiled yesterday on learning that negotiating countries had agreed to a shortened period during which their member companies’ data on biologic drugs may be kept secret. All told, PhRMA lobbying reports that mentioned TPP, along with other issues, accounted for $110 million of PhRMA’s total lobbying spending since 2009, when it began its efforts to weigh in on the trade deal.”
So that makes him a good guy since he’s now on the “side” of the common man, right? No way. Put another way, this time by John Castellani who maybe doesn’t know he’s been replaced at PhRMA:
Put one more way, cutting through the polite jargon and corporate doublespeak, some of the biggest pharmaceutical multinational corporations in the world were banking on at least (although they were pushing for preferably more than) 12 years (!) of legal monopoly rights so they can prevent or delay generic drugs competing against them, which keeps drug prices high, with particular emphasis on a promising category of drugs known as biologics. And, of course, as I’ve written 20 times before (you can go to the “TPP” category on this website), for the twelve nations participating in this horrible TPP deal from hell, everyone loses (except these PhRMA guys) when corporations control basically everything.
As Common Dreams points out, the finalized version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership doesn’t even conform to the Bush-era drug accessibility standards, so that’s really saying something.
At this point (if you made it this point), your “binary brain” which prefers things to be ‘black or white,” & “good or bad,” is stomping it’s proverbial “foot” and saying WHAT DOES THIS MEAN for TPP?
I actually think it could be a good thing since the TPP text seems finalized and some of these bad boys don’t like it. Take, for example this PhRMA group…they’ve spent at least $110 million lobbying for TPP. Now that the ink may be dry on the text, and they think they need at least a dozen years to monopolize, control, and kill off thousands in TPP-signatory countries so they can make big enough profits, it’s possible they’ll throw in with the likes of the AFL-CIO, the Sierra Club and the other assorted unions and environmental groups to (finally) get information out to the
general prison population public, which will make passage in Congress very difficult, if not impossible. I’ve quoted the Indian philosopher Kautilya before, but I’ll do it again and say, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” In this one way, PhRMA, which will never be on the side of you and me or the poor, can help.
But wait, there’s more…
We have to accept that we really don’t know what games are being played here. There are so many billions of dollars at stake for these companies that PhRMA may be coming out of the shadows to publicly strong arm their former partner in crime, the Office of the US Trade Representative (and they are 100% “BAD,” by the way – not even a smidge of goodness there) into keeping up the pressure on TPP countries for the rest of time. Again, from Common Dreams:
“The final document imposes a minimum mandatory five-year period. It also subjects the issue to future discussions of a “TPP Commission” and efforts “to deliver a comparable effective period.” This reflects a USTR effort to impose eight-year monopolies over countries’ refusal.
“That purposefully ambiguous language is meant to provide USTR a means to harass countries in the future, and keep pushing for longer monopolies and industry profits at the expense of people’s health,” said Kilic.”
Now your brain is getting really ticked off. I went and ruined what could have been a good thing. Except maybe it wasn’t.
So what is the lesson, or point here? Is this Ubl guy “good” or “bad?”
At the end of the day, regardless of what happens with TPP, I’m gonna say he’s pretty rotten. His job is, after all, covering for guys like this Turing Pharmaceutical douchebag who raised the cost of cancer/AIDS medication by 5,000%…
And no amount of lipstick on THAT pig is going to change a thing.