Congressional pharma foes square off over committee gig

Share this article:
Fight! Fight! Two leading congressional critics of the pharma industry—Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and John Dingell (D-MI)—are at odds over a committee chairmanship.

Dingell chairs the powerful House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Waxman, who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, wants Dingell's job.

In response, Dingell yesterday announced his “whip team” for his effort to retain the coveted chairmanship. Among the three co-chairs was another pharma bête noir, Dingell's fellow Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak, who chairs the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.

Dingell, an ardent defender of his home-state automotive industry, differs with Waxman on energy policy and other issues of concern to Detroit. But while the Michigan Democrat is viewed as somewhat less of a zealot than Waxman on healthcare policy, he has, together with Stupak, been an aggressive critic of pharmaceutical marketing practices, particularly with regard to consumer advertising.

Waxman, a top congressional consumer safety advocate and scourge of the Bush administration, has hit the FDA and drug companies on a host of issues, from safety to pricing to marketing. With his party poised to take control of the executive branch he oversees, Waxman is making a play to have more of a hand in shaping the policies it produces. It may be another case of “Damned if you do, damned if you don't” for the industry, but control of the committee could well determine the direction of the sweeping healthcare overhaul that the Democrats have promised voters.
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.

Email Newsletters

MM&M EBOOK: PATIENT ACCESS

Patient access to pharmaceuticals is a tale of two worlds—affordability has improved for the majority, while the minority is hampered by cost, distribution and red tape. To provide marketers with a well-rounded perspective, MM&M presents this e-book chock full of key insights. Click here to access it.

More in Channel

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Monday, September 15

Five things for pharma marketers to know: ...

Pharma has sought 76 meetings with FDA over biosimilars; Gilead licenses Sovaldi to India generic drugmakers; Pfizer and Ranbaxy Lipitor lawsuit dismissed.

Liraglutide, aiming for new indication, gets new name

Liraglutide, aiming for new indication, gets new name

Why Novo Nordisk is choosing not to leverage Victoza's brand equity as it seeks a weight-loss indication for liraglutide.

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, September 12

Five things for pharma marketers to know: Friday, ...

An FDA panel voted in favor of liraglutide for weight loss; Allergan investors backing an attempted takeover of the firm crossed a critical threshold; and 100 million health wearables are ...