The massive bill with its plan to conquer Cancer and other diseases is churning through the political swamp known as Congress. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D, MA), has come out in strong opposition of the Big Pharma giveaway in the 21st Century Cure Act the first draft of which she helped write.

Giveaways and handouts

Saying the current bill is filled with “giveaways and handouts” for the big drug companies this may be the last big giveaway before the purse strings are cut by a future Congress which may listen (Warren suggests) to the, “70% of voters said ...the economy and the lawmakers who oversee it are owned - owned - by big companies and special interests.

That’s 70% of everybody-Democrats, Republicans, Independents.”

“Will this Congress say that yes, we’re bought and paid for, or will we stand up and work for the American people?” Warren asked on the Senate Floor. Senator Warren wants increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), saying that medical advances come from research. Congress has cut NIH funding by 20% in the past decade and the Cure Act began as a way to inject funds into fundamental research.

Sidetracked and hijacked

But Senator Warren says the the bill was hijacked by Big Pharma lobbyists and the current version only contains a tiny amount of funds for NIH research and for the opioid addiction crisis. Instead, it is now a giveaway program for the wealthiest companies in the world.

First giveaway - legalize fraud

Off-label marketing is big business - drug companies can only sell medicine approved by the FDA but selling a drug approved for a minor condition off-label as a cure for cancer or hair loss is profitable, extremely profitable even if it doesn't work. Doctors can do this legally but for now advertising off-label uses is illegal - fraud.

Sen. Warren calls this "annoying” to the" "Big Pharma" drug companies and their lobbyists had loopholes added to the Cures Act to limit anti-fraud enforcement which has cost them billions of dollars in legal penalties.

Second - hiding bribes

Today "Big Pharma" (drug companies) must disclose the money they give doctors and hospitals.

Changes to the Cures Act let them hide “splashy junkets or gifts” of “medical education” which always seems to take place in warm, sunny resorts. Even Republican Senator Grassley from Iowa is “outraged by this provision.”

Last - special deals for big contributors

Warren’s speech pointed to “a major Republican donor [who] stands to benefit financially from selling cellular and regenerative medical therapies. If this guy had his way, he’d be able to sell them to desperate people without final FDA approval..." Currently, that's a felony so he donated millions to Mitch McConnell’s “personal campaign coffers and into his Republican SuperPAC.” Unsurprisingly, the revised Cures Act now includes special permission to sell these drugs without proving they work or are even safe.

Warren - Republican changes corrupt and dangerous

Sen. Warren said changes to the Cures Act making it easy to sell untested drugs or selling favors are both corrupt and dangerous. The Cures Act began as funding for medical research but the present version cuts Medicare funding, takes money from the ACA, makes it harder for the disabled to get Medicaid, and even includes a giveaway to the gun lobby. To get votes and avoid charges of naked bribery they left popular provisions such as genetic privacy and very limited funding for opioid crisis and VP Biden’s “Cancer Moonshot.”

Despite having written part of the original “Cures ActSen. Warren says she can’t vote for the present bill, comparing some changes to “extortion not compromise.

“Compromise is putting together common-sense health proposals … and passing them into law. Extortion is holding those exact same proposals hostage unless everyone agrees to special favors for campaign donors and giveaways to the richest drug companies in the world.”