Under The Influence, Tarbell's Weekly Newsletter

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this week in Tarbell

This week I want to revisit an investigation we published one year ago, about the way pharmaceutical companies and stakeholders are collaborating to prevent Americans from buying personal prescription meds from companies that sell them for the same prices found in Canada and elsewhere. Reporter Michael McAuliff detailed the range of campaigns against importing drugs (and costing companies profits), from email campaigns to the creation of “safe” drug buying resources that push Americans toward domestic distributors that sell full-price drugs.

Click Here To Read The Investigation — “Keeping International Pharmacies Under A Cloud” — On Tarbell.org


There’s an update to the story: PharmacyChecker.com, one of the resources that actually accredits international pharmacies for safe importation of medication, is suing a range of pharmaceutical groups for blacklisting their website and deceiving Americans about their ability to find more affordable drugs.

Click Here To Read PharmacyChecker.com’s Post On The Lawsuit


Notable Investigations and Solutions

After back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, President Trump said he would approve tighter gun control measures — until he clocked a 30-minute phone call with National Rifle Association president Wayne LaPierre.

Click Here To Read The Story

Physician groups have come out with a lobbying blitz against Congress’s attempts to address “surprise” medical bills, fearing the changes could hit their revenues.

Click Here To Read The Story

After complaining for months about exemptions to renewable fuel use mandates, a coalition of biofuel producers are taking legal action against the EPA for allowing exemptions for small refineries.

Click Here To Read The Story

After the Bristol Myers Squibb-Celgene $74 billion merger on the books, Reuters speculates what mergers could be next in the industry: Pfizer considers smaller deals of “a few” billion dollars? Amgen buys Celgene’s blockbuster drug, Otezla?

Click Here To Read The Story

(Check out my piece on the BMS-Celgene merger if you haven’t already!)

The Intercept has found evidence that the chemical and oil companies’ trade group, the American Fuel & Petrochemicals Manufacturers, is pushing policy that would allow the government to prosecute protesters like those at Standing Rock Reservation.

Click Here To Read The Story

While Congress tries to address tech monopolies that put 20th Century robber barons to shame, the New York Times queries experts on the ways to restrain and reform Big Tech.

Click Here To Read The Story

The former Obama aide who prepared a report on Ukraine for Paul Manafort can’t deny his involvement in the messy affair, but now on trial, Greg Craig’s defense team is claiming the consultant was caught in a web of deceit.

Click Here To Read The Story

Chaining onto the vape industry’s new lobbying addiction, popular e-cigarette brand Juul is sending a representative to the major right-wing coalition that attempts to shape conservative votes in corporations’ favors.

Click Here To Read The Story

When a cheerful Miami entrepreneur pitched a financial solution for costly and aging rural health systems, hospitals and small town officials were eager to believe him. Now the money is gone, and it’s left hospitals worse off than before, Kaiser Health News reports.

Click Here To Read The Story

A university student wrote an editorial for open internet non-profit Public Knowledge about the financial strain that the merger of two textbook companies would put on students’ compiling debt. The Cengage and McGraw-Hill merger — and the DOJ’s response — will be one to watch.

Click Here To Read The Commentary


Spotlight on Local Reporting

Follow the Money, the open campaign finance site from the National Institute on Money in Politics, put up its state-by-state map of campaign spending. Check out how your state compares!

Click Here To See The Map

Mississippi’s state prosecutor Mike Hurst has taken a tough stance against illegal immigrants employed in the state’s ag sector, but Mississippi Today notes he’s seemed to look the other way at the businesses recruiting them in the first place.

Click Here To Read The Story

Senator and 2020 hopeful Bernie Sanders is promoting a plan to put a military jet base in his home state of Vermont for the purported economic benefits, much to the dismay of some of his voters back home.

Click Here To Read The Story

Florida Politics Blog released an insightful roundup this week of major lobbying firms’ earnings in Q2, with many raking in more than a million in three months.

Click Here To Read The Story

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Danielle Keeton-Olsen is the Engagement Editor at Tarbell.org and a freelance journalist based in Southeast Asia.