<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: Can you say "conflict of interest"?

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Can you say "conflict of interest"?

Representative Billy Tauzin, one of the main authors of the new Medicare drug law (which shafts consumers and fattens pharmaceutical companies), has accepted a new job as...surprise!...president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Which, coincidentally, is the chief lobbying agency for pharmaceutical companies.

How much will they be paying Mr. Tauzin? At least $2 million a year, according to people in other trade groups. But Tauzin is not in it for the money. He wants to help the pharmaceutical industry "earn the trust and confidence of consumers again."

Of course, as Rep. Henry Waxman points out, Tauzin's move will further erode consumers' trust and confidence in Congress. "The appearance is terrible. A chief architect of the Medicare prescription drug legislation is now going to represent the chief beneficiary of the bill. This will only reinforce the public's disillusionment with Congress."

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/16/politics/16drug.html?th

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