PHARMA/POLICY/POLITICS: Slick Willie syphons off big Pharma

Today is waste of money election day in California, brought to you mostly by the soon-to-be terminated Governor Arnold. But there are two other props on the ballot on which PhRMA has dropped more than $80 million to muddy the already muddied waters. It looks like Prop 78 which is nominally the one big Pharma "wants" to win and Prop 79 which is the one they actually want to lose (and the reason 78 is on the ballot) are both going down to defeat. Nonetheless I’ve had a voice message from someone claiming to be a surgeon in Fresno telling me to vote yes on 78, paid for by a host of drug companies (and admitting it as such, which is why I don’t think they want it to win).

But of course the really smart people in this state are extracting as much green from big Pharma as they can. The smoothest political operator of them all, former Speaker of the State House and former Mayor of San Francisco and the man whom is surrounded by but never touched by corruption Willie Brown, has successfully put some $500,000 of big pharma’s money in his pocket. Apparently he’s got the trial lawyers to stay neutral and conned some of the NAACP (who also know which way their bread it buttered) to actually support it. Way to go Willie! Sadly that gravy train will be over after today.