Just As I Thought

Soma, anyone?

BoingBoing reports on a bizarre program from the Bush administration which — if we weren’t living in such bizarre, fascist, big brother times, would be laughable:

President Bush’s family has made a lot of money from drug companies and still has very close ties to the pharmaceutical industry. (Bush Sr was on Eli Lilly’s board of directors and Bush Jr appointed Lilly’s CEO to a senior position on the Homeland Security Council.)

According to this British Medical Journal article, “Lilly made $1.6m in political contributions in 2000—82% of which went to Bush and the Republican Party. “

So it’s not surprising that the President announced a plan to screen the entire US population for mental illness and pump lots and lots of people full of expensive Eli Lilly drugs. Bush’s commission has recommended that the federal government adopt a model based on the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP) a medication treatment plan that recommends Zyprexa as a first line antipsychotic drug for patients. Bush was governor of Texas when the plan was adopted, and Zyprexa coincidentally happens to be made Eli Lilly. It’s the drug company’s top seller, grossing $4.28 billion dollars last year. According to the article, “A 2003 New York Times article by Gardiner Harris reported that 70% of olanzapine sales are paid for by government agencies, such as Medicare and Medicaid.”

Oh, they neglected to mention that Donald Rumsfeld was the former CEO of pharmaceutical giant Searle — yup, the people that brought you the brain-altering toxic drug Nutrasweet.

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