To those who paint Occupy Wall Street protesters as delinquents and deadbeats – your claim has been refuted. One of the hardest-working segments of our society has joined the movement.
A union of registered nurses delivered a petition signed by more than 300,000 people to Congress yesterday, proposing a specific and subtle way to generate revenue for medical assistance programs.
While the top tier of healthcare executives reaps most of the spoils, nurses tirelessly grind out long shifts to ensure the health and safety of our people. And rather than simply complaining about the problem, they’ve prepared a solution.
Stunning Statistics of the Week:
It’s not too late: Sign up to host a house party on Nov. 9!
It’s not too late to sign up to host a house party on Nov. 9! About 200 parties are planned. Have one in your community! What’s it about? Billions of dollars have started to pour the coffers of corporations and the super-rich into the 2012 elections. We’re responding by ramping up support for a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing corporations to spend as much as they want influencing elections. We need your help! Sign up here.
Partisan deadlock renders FEC useless
Glaxo-Smith-Kline (GSK), the world’s fourth largest pharmaceutical company announced yesterday that it had tentatively reached a $3 billion settlement – the largest ever – with the feds to conclude an investigation into illegal activity going back at least seven years.
GSK allegedly promoted multiple drugs, including the dangerous diabetes drug Avandia for uses for which they were not approved, going so far as to pay kickbacks to get doctors to prescribe the medications. The purported settlement breaks the previous $2.3 billion settlement record set in 2009 by Pfizer.
GSK has repeatedly been fined for unlawful conduct. A 2010 Public Citizen report found that, over the past 20 years, GSK racked up $4.5 billion – more than any other company – in fines levied by the federal and state governments for a plethora of illegal activities.
The pharmaceutical industry has paid more in penalties to the federal government as a result of these settlements than any other industry. The profits generated by such activities are massive, and when companies are caught, CEOs get off scot-free, while the penalties handed down barely put a dent in their bottom lines.
The $3 billion settlement may seem like a sizeable sum, but consider that, according to The New York Times, GSK reaped profits of $5 billion on $43 billion worth of sales in just this past year alone. And by announcing the settlement in advance of its official conclusion, GSK put an end to years of investor uncertainty. The company’s stock rose 3 percent following the announcement, confirming yet again that, for Big Pharma, at least, crime does indeed pay.