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FDA Medical Adviser: 'Congress is Owned by Pharma'

Pharmaceutical companies are under the spotlight with congressional hearings on the cost of drug prices and allegations of the industry’s role in the opioid crisis.

Dr. Raeford Brown, a pediatric anesthesia specialist at the UK Kentucky Children’s Hospital and chair of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Committee on Analgesics and Anesthetics, has been openly critical of big pharma and the lack of proper oversight from the FDA.

Despite many politicians, particularly declared presidential candidates, beginning to speak out against big pharma, Brown does not think that anything will come out of it “because Congress is owned by pharma.”

“The pharmaceutical industry pours millions of dollars into the legislative branch every single year,” he told Yahoo Finance. “In 2016, they put $100 million into the elections. That’s a ton of money.”

OpenSecrets, a website operated by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, tracks money in U.S. politics. It ranked the top 20 members of the House and the Senate that have received the most campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical and health products industry during the 2017-2018 election cycle.

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