Dix: Another flip-flop, big pharma comes knocking

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Rwede
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Dix: Another flip-flop, big pharma comes knocking

Post by Rwede »

NDP’s Marcella Munro set up meeting with Adrian Dix and her anti-Therapeutics Initiative client

One of the NDP’s most influential media spinners is a pharmaceutical industry lobbyist who set up meetings between key NDP politicians including Adrian Dix and a client who opposed the Therapeutic Initiative that the NDP itself is claiming to support.

Marcella Munro is currently lobbying Adrian Dix, Mike Farnworth, Bruce Ralston and two other NDP MLAs on behalf of research-based pharmaceutical companies, according to the B.C. Consultant Lobbyist Registry.

Munro is a social media stalwart for the NDP on Twitter and appeared as recently as last night on GlobalTV talking up NDP positions against the BC Liberals’ Lorne Mayencourt.

Dix has harshly criticized Munro’s client in the past, claiming “the premier’s office” put pharmaceutical lobbyists onto a pharmaceutical task force.

Yet when Munro came knocking records show Dix did meet with them.

Munro’s client is a grouping of presidents, CEOs and other top officials from 14 of the country’s biggest drug manufacturers.

Her lobbying activities are suddenly very significant because the NDP today is attacking the BC Liberals for hearing from pharmaceutical industry lobbyists.

Munro, usually quick to offer a defence of any NDP strategy, has been strangely silent on the issue today.

Munro also lobbies for GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., and Eli Lilly.

Is Munro’s silence tacit recognition of yet another tactical campaign gaffe for the NDP that could have unintended consequences like the Kinder Morgan flip-flop?

Quite likely.

The reality is that the pharmaceutical industry, contrary to NDP characterizations, employs all kinds of lobbyists across the spectrum, and policitians including Adrian Dix take meetings with them.

Lobbyist records show that Munro, of the Earnsliffe government relations firm, registered for the period March 21, 2013 to March 21, 2014 to lobby for “Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies” – a group that The Tyee claimed in 2010 opposed the Therapeutics Initiative.

Her purpose at the time of registration was “to educate and inform members of the Official Opposition about R&D’s analysis and research with regards to health policy and the role that pharmaceuticals play within the health care sector.”

Named targets of her activities are Dix, Farnworth, Ralston as well as Jenny Kwan, Doug Routley and Joe Trasolini.

The activity register shows that contact was made with all six MLAs.
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ForestfortheTrees
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Re: Dix: Another flip-flop, big pharma comes knocking

Post by ForestfortheTrees »

Surprise, surprise. The big political parties are in bed with industry.

Richard, To keep this balanced you need to also report stuff about the Liberals. Otherwise, it is just partisan mud-slinging and a pointless exercise.
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Re: Dix: Another flip-flop, big pharma comes knocking

Post by Rwede »

But wait, there's more!


NDP MP lobbied Adrian Dix on pharma issues

Adrian Dix was lobbied by now-NDP Member of Parliament Murray Rankin on pharmaceutical industry concerns, lobbying records show.

On December 11, 2011 Rankin arranged a meeting with the provincial NDP leader to discuss “British Columbia’s reimbursement policies for generic pharmaceutical products” with his friend and supporter who was being paid to represent the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association.

Rankin is a member of the legendary Dixmen, supporters who nurtured Dix’s career in the 1990s and continue to back him today.

After the meeting, Rankin gave up his role as a lobbyist and successfully sought the federal NDP seat of Victoria. He also crafted Dix’s opposition to the Northern Gateway Pipeline by which the NDP would pull out of a Joint Review Panel within seven days of winning office, and in its place substitute a provincial process that would deliver the promised outcome of refusing to approve the project.

Rankin was also one of the authors of the provincial NDP’s wealth distribution policy that led to $2 billion in B.C. tax increases immediately after the party took office in 1991, despite campaign promises not to raise taxes.

B.C. Political Reports revealed today that prominent NDP spokesperson Marcella Munro is a paid lobbyist of a group that opposes the Therapeutics Initiative that Dix purportedly supports.
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Re: Dix: Another flip-flop, big pharma comes knocking

Post by Smurf »

I'm actually happy to see him meet with them. It proves he is open minded and willing to listen to everyone. It says absolutely nothing about what his final decision might be or if he is even considering changing his position. A good politician or anyone for that matter should study all sides and be up to date on them. Having one belief and ignoring anything that doesn't agree with it is just, well I'll let you fill in the blank as I might be impolite.
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Re: Dix: Another flip-flop, big pharma comes knocking

Post by Rwede »

Smurf wrote:I'm actually happy to see him meet with them. It proves he is open minded and willing to listen to everyone. It says absolutely nothing about what his final decision might be or if he is even considering changing his position. A good politician or anyone for that matter should study all sides and be up to date on them. Having one belief and ignoring anything that doesn't agree with it is just, well I'll let you fill in the blank as I might be impolite.



And that compares with his position on pipelines, how, exactly, when he hasn't even waited for the environmental assessments? Yep. Epic fail on Dix's part, flip-flopping like a fish outta water.

Dix already has a position on pharma ("We've been very clear on our position" - A. Dix). Now he's meeting secretly with big pharma, and was caught when someone stumbled across the lobbyists' filings accidentally.

He's promising one thing, and entertaining the other side at the same time.

You can't trust Dix.
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Re: Dix: Another flip-flop, big pharma comes knocking

Post by Gone_Fishin »

Rwede wrote:He's promising one thing, and entertaining the other side at the same time.

You can't trust Dix.



That's for sure. Dix is backroom dealing with big pharma now, while telling us that he supports the Therapeutics Initiative. Which side is he on? Why can't he tell the truth on this? And, most importantly, if he does slither his way into the Premier's office, what will his double-dealing cost taxpayers and what effect will it have on our healthcare system?

Lots of questions, Dix is ducking the issue, and voters are rapidly becoming very skeptical of ANY NDP promise as Dix keeps saying one thing but doing another. Troubling times in NDPland, for sure.
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Re: Dix: Another flip-flop, big pharma comes knocking

Post by Al Czervic »

The therapeutics initiative is misunderstood. Health Canada decides what drugs are safe for legal distribution in Canada and that is not changed by the therapeutics initiative. The bigger question is what drugs are covered by the BC Pharmacare Plan and what drugs are not – this is where the therapeutics initiative comes in (or used too) Typically Government wants to control costs so they cover low cost generic drugs. When a new drug comes along the therapeutics initiative decides (or at least it used too) if the new drug provides enough benefits over the cheaper generic drugs already covered. This is a slow and lengthy review process but it does help keep drug costs down.


Downside is that if you are a senior on a fixed income and the new drug that works for you that you need is not covered by Pharmacare, you are screwed. Make no mistake this therapeutics initiative is really all about controlling costs – that is important but as I said if you are a senior on a fixed income and the drug you need is denied or “under review” you are screwed.
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Rwede
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Re: Dix: Another flip-flop, big pharma comes knocking

Post by Rwede »

So in essence, Big Pharma is interested in keeping lower cost generic drugs out, so their lobbyists are meeting with Dix to keep costs high and keep their drugs from being replaced with affordable generics? That's how I'm reading it.
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