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of points that are already in law. There is a bill that would set up an ethics commission, but this doesn’t set up a commission. It just simply gets a group of people together to say, “Hey you can do this and you can’t do this.” There’s really no guidelines now, not just for elected officials but also for public employees. But it is a study over a two-year period? Yes, and then it sunsets and those recommendations are mandated that the legislature shall consider them. Well, if there are people that are willing now to go ahead and pass ethics legislation, couldn’t this bill be sort of viewed as a two-year delaying tactic? No, no, no. I don’t think so and in fact I’ve just been right here on my desk I have my ethics bill 1903 is up tomor 7 row for public hearing and it takes in Chapter 14 of the Election Code and we’re going to try to incorporate into it many of those suggestions and Ms. coming to my office this afternoon. We’re going to look at incorporating a lot of those bills into this omnibus bill dealing with Chapter 14, and I’m hopeful we can go ahead and pass it this session. And so the House Bill 3 has no effect on House Bill 1903, or the other single shot bills. I’m hopeful we can do both. The things that House Bill 3 addresses are not the things that we know we need to do here. This 1903 refers to contributions received but not accepted, would this, if it had been in effect at the time of the Brilab thing, that would have removed any question It would have been I think it would have made the law clearer as to returning contributions not accepted and et cetera. The law’s just not clear on that point at all, in fact it doesn’t even address it. Is that why you wrote the bill? Because of the Brilab This is one of the reasons, one of the reasons this certainly highlighted it in our attention. And brought it to our attention, that maybe there should be a deadline, a time frame in which to do all these things. You know I guess it’s ridiculous, but you could keep a contribution for two or three years and return it under the current law. Doggett’s bill on identification of political action committees? I’m not that familiar with it, but if, if it’s getting to the point of trying to disclose who some of these PACs are, certainly I am interested in that type of legislation, because there are so many PACs going around you don’t know really who they belong to, who makes up the PAC, and I’d like to have that information available to the public: So you support the concept? Yeah. Austin “We’re in the business to save lives,” Carl Dahl, legislative representative for the A. H. Robbins pharmaceutical manufacturing company, recently assured one of his opponents on the generic drug bill pending in Austin, but those with an eye to the consumer’s pocketbook may wonder how much longer some people will be able to afford being saved. The issue of generic drugs distills down to whether or not to allow pharmacists to substitute a lower-priced, unbranded drug in place of an expensive brand-name product. This fight, which has been going on since Cong. Mickey Leland, then a state representative from Houston, first introduced a generic drug bill in 1971, is being waged between a coalition of consumers and pharmacists on one side and physicians and drug manufacturers on the other. Rhetoric aside, the arguments filter out to these: Consumers: Drug products should be available at the lowest possible cost to those who want them. Pharmacists: Five years of pharmacy education is wasted on health-care professionals who currently are allowed to do little more than the work of a retail clerk. Physicians: Tampering with a prescription interferes with the traditional doctor-patient relationship. Drug firms: After investing millions of dollars in research, development, and marketing, manufacturers deserve to reap a generous profit from their brandname products. In 1981, Texas and Indiana remain the last two states refusing to allow consumers to reap the cost-benefits of generic tive bill so far as privacy is concerned before it has my support. What about your own experience of being wiretapped by the FBI? Well, you know in that particular instance, the tapes were of benefit to me becaue they helped prove my innocence. But at the same time I don’t think a person should be taped unless he has some knowledge of it, or unless there is, certainly, a one specific issue, maybe, type [of] thing like drugs. But very, very cautiously, and so I don’t know if we can write a bill this session that will have all those protections in it or not. But if we can then it will have my support oth drugs without the cumbersome process of physician approval. Such.stubborness in the face of health care reform is due in no small part to the combined campaign contributions and well-financed lobbying efforts of the Texas Medical Association, the national Pharmaceutical Mariufacturers Association, and individual drug firms. During the 1981 legislative session, proponents of the generic drug bill finally got the edge when the Medical Practices Act a crucial piece of legislation for physicians came up for Sunset review. Chet Brooks, chairperson of the human resources committee that is handling the medical legislation, is also the Senate sponsor of the generic drug bill, and Lloyd Doggett, to whose hostile subcommittee the Medical Practices Act could be sent, has long been an active supporter of Brooks’ bill. Before committee action ever began on either bill, however, lobbyists for TMA began negotiations which have led to a compromise bill apparently acceptable to all sides. As soon as the last splinters are sanded off the compromise bill, Rep. Ted Lyon of Mesquite is ready to wing the bill through the House. Without the traditional alliance with TMA to bolster their position, several drug company lobbyists have indicated they will downplay or dismantle their own opposition. Supporters of the generic drug bill including Consumers Union, the Texas Consumer Association, the AFL-CIO, Texas ACORN, and numerous senior citizens groups are now hopeful that Texas will make Indiana the last state to deny its citizens costeffective prescription drugs. 0 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 11 You’re also supporting a wiretapping measure. I, you know, I’m for wiretap to a point if there are plenty of protections built around protecting the privacy of an individual and where there will be no harassment or use of that wiretap for purposes other than what it might be issued for, and having severe penalties for those who might try to intimidate or use it in erwise it will not. any other purpose. In other words, it’s Back on the water plan just briefly, it is going to have to be a very, very protec extremely complex and we are halfway E11111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111 The Issue. of Generic Drugs I