Monday, January 17, 2005

Losing Our Rights

In case you hadn't noticed lately, pharmaceutical companies now own the FDA, the White House and most of Congress and that's probably why those prescription drugs we can barely afford (like Vioxx and PremPro), are killing us. It's not enough that the drug companies have no independant oversight, if the Bushites have their way, we won't be able to sue them after they kill our loved-ones.

From the Hightower Lowdown (subscription):

High on Bush & Co.'s agenda is "tort reform." The "crisis" is that you unruly citizens are treating big corporations unfairly, constantly filing "frivolous lawsuits" against them. So, to protect the poor corporations, Bush says he must limit your access to America's courts.

But a survey by the consumer group, Public Citizen, reveals that American businesses file about four times as many lawsuits as do individuals—even though there are 40 times more individuals in America than businesses—and that corporations file frivolous lawsuits 69 percent more often than individuals do.

Corporate lawyers sue customers, competitors, suppliers, workers, and anyone else standing between their client and another dollar bill. Regular folks count on trial lawyers who pay the up-front costs of getting us to trial, and only get paid if we win. This provides the best access to the judicial system poor and middle-class families can get.

To get this survey and fight for your rights, call Public Citizen: 202-454-5104.

Public citizen also has a drug safety web site here. They currently have a list of 181 one drugs that are not safe to use. The pharaceutical companies are sending drug pushers (they call them sales people) to doctor's offices and they advertise on TV, so check online before filling that prescription and use it to educate your doctor.