Montana Politics

Representative Rehberg: Working Against Faster Drug Development

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At least Representative Rehberg is consistent in his desire to compromise the health of Americans. Earlier this year, he crafted a rider so odious and dangerous that the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association the American Lung Association, and the FDA all condemned it, suggesting that it would endanger the lives of Americans.

He’s back at it, putting the interests of pharmaceutical corporations ahead of the health of Americans who need new treatments for diseases. Meredith Wadman writes:

The NIH’s rush to launch the centre has also come up against vocal opposition from Denny Rehberg (Republican, Montana), who chairs the House spending subcommittee that funds the NIH and who in June demanded more details from the agency about its plans. (He has since received them.)

Collins, who early in his tenure declared translational medicine to be one of his top priorities, has pushed hard for the creation of the centre, which would focus on accelerating and improving the process of drug and device development. He first encountered resistance on the NIH campus, when it became clear that setting up the centre would mean dismantling and dividing up the pieces of the National Center for Research Resources, a $1.3-billion NIH institute devoted to infrastructure and training. In Congress, Rehberg and others have questioned whether the agency is pushing the government into an area — drug development — that they say should be the preserve of industry.

Rehberg’s record is clear: he’s far more interested in corporate profits than health, even if it means tainted blood, dangerous chemicals in food and drink, and delayed life-saving treatments.

It’s just too bad that Montanans can’t rely on their newspapers to cover these issues.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a seventeen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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