News reports indicate that Dan Ziegler, a Washington lobbyist counting among his clients PhRMA, Pfizer, Merck, Sanofi, Eli Lilly and Amgen, will join House Speaker Mike Johnson’s office as policy director.
Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that works on behalf of public interest in Washington previously published a report detailing the scope and magnitude of Pharma’s presence on Capitol Hill.
In response to Rep. Johnson's recent hiring of Dan Ziegler, Public Citizen president Robert Weissman issued the following statement:
“It turns out that one of the biggest winners from the House Republican meltdown is Big Pharma. At a time when 90 percent of Americans are clamoring for more aggressive measures to clamp down on Big Pharma price gouging, the industry has managed to place one of their lobbyists as policy director in the Speaker’s office.
“This may be the greatest gift to Big Pharma since Rep. Billy Tauzin barred Medicare from negotiating drug prices – and then went on to head the industry trade association.
“Should the House fail to take up popular bipartisan drug pricing reforms that are anticipated to advance through the Senate, we will know a reason why, and know at least one person who likely is siding with industry to preserve drug corporation monopoly abuses and profiteering.
“This appointment puts to lie Speaker Johnson’s claim that he is a big believer in ‘free markets.’ He has just placed in charge of his policy shop a lobbyist for an industry whose business model is based on abusing monopoly power.
“Speaker Johnson’s hire of pharma lobbyist Dan Ziegler is yet another example of how the revolving door enables corporations to derail the policies that Americans overwhelmingly favor, and underscores the need for reform to address the revolving door.
“Ziegler’s resume disqualifies him for the job. Speaker Johnson immediately should reverse this hire and find a policy director free of Big Pharma or corporate conflicts.”
Read more about Public Citizen here.