We’re Spending More and More on Drugs for Prisoners

Prison interiorIs this in part a pay-off to Big Pharma for campaign support?
2002–2009: President George W. Bush received $527,683 from the pharmaceutical industry, and $293,133 from drug manufacturers specifically. According to USASpending.gov, contracts for inmate drugs increased very sharply between FY 2003 and 2004, from $78,912 to $14,284,750. It kept increasing until FY 2009 where $30,498,453 was awarded in a single year. The number of contracts increased from 3 to 4721 under the Bush administration.
2008: Health professionals donate $13,864,142 to Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign; $2,446,792 of that was from Big Pharma. John McCain received $816,702 from the pharmaceutical industry. Under President Obama, the number of contracts awarded for drugs for federal inmates skyrockets to 7,767—more than double the number of contracts doled out during President Bush’s last fiscal year. Between 2009 and 2010, however, the inmate population grew by only 1,500.
2012: The pharmaceutical and health products industry spends $1,923,615 dollars to reelect President Obama. Hospitals pitch in $4,336,668; health professionals gave $10,456,340. To keep their bets hedged, Big Pharma contributes $1,920,156 to Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential elections. The Department of Justice awards 41,658 contracts to drug federal prisoners totaling $332.5 million.
March 2014: The FDA moves to ban folate. As we have noted in our folate Action Alert, this appears to be a ploy to reserve this essential-to-life B vitamin for drug companies that, under the ban, would rake in billions.
April 2014: It’s projected that the Affordable Care Act and its resulting Medicaid expansions will put millions more prisoners on psychotropic drugs.
Is Big Pharma reaping the rewards of their Election Day investment? There’s no way to be sure, but there’s also no denying the facts: with the crony capitalist one-hand-washes-the-other system that is in place with recent presidential administrations (regardless of party), drug companies have grown fat off of government contracts and FDA regulatory gifts.


  1. The basis for all of the problems we have with government can be traced to “pay to play” or legalized bribery. When leaders have to spend 61% of their time raising money to finance their political campaigns to stay in office, we have a serious problem. The solution is public financing of campaigns. This has been successfully done in Maine and Arizona. The majority of the leaders in Arizona are publicly financed including the Governor and the attorney General.
    Many of the organizations which fight corporate influence in government need to get together and deal with the ROOT of all our problems—the corrupting influence of money on our leadership. Deal with the ROOT and it will be easy to get leaders to look out for the people.
    The current situation is like “whack-a-mole.” You spend time getting one issue fixed and some lobbyist gets a leader to pass a law to create another issue. Eliminate the pernicious influence of lobbyists and their money—cut down on the corruption.
    Price: about $2 billion per year. Source: http://www.acrreform.org

  2. Right On Debra
    It looks like the biggest drug customers are the prison industries and the military. The federal government is all in for quack Big Pharma medicine.
    Looks like it’s gonna be massive dosing of psych drugs for our federal prisoners just like the bogus treatment of our military PTSD victims leading to suicides. At least the prisoners don’t have to get the bogus Anthrax shot that led to Gulf War Syndrome. Keep up the good work in exposing these bastards.

    1. Your comment brings up another point Dan. That is, the labeling of the dire effects these drugs have and problems and damages they cause. How many things are in the blame or name of “Gulf War Syndrome?” It takes the focus and fault completely off the drug or “vaccine” and off big pharma and off the government – those at fault and responsible.

  3. Most of all the prisoners have mental health problems. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to come to that apparent conclusion. Our prisons have become a replacement for all of the now closed asylums. If the mental hospitals and asylums of days past would have treated the mentally ill with respect and dignity, they would have never been closed.
    I am in support of treating the prisoners with medications.

  4. It’s time to stop filling the pockets of Big Pharma, and also stop drugging the prisoners. If they can’t stand the feeling of being in jail, stop doing the things they were doing to get there.

  5. I knew that BIG PHARMA was bad, but not this bad! The astronomical numbers make me sick. Can I have some psychotropic drugs for that–where my taxes are being spent, anyway!

  6. Money & Experimentation on inmates.
    Makes me sick. It is horrific. Same thing with our troops.
    Our young people, being maimed and tortured from the ADR from Cipro and the other concoctions they were given. Returning with “mysterious illness”.
    Between Bayer & FDA & Monsanto….the trifecta from hell. Pure Evil. 20 + years of giving out drugs to the public, withholding the facts from the medical community & the Public. Every time they hand out fluoroquinolones aka: Cipro, Levaqin, Avelox. Is a chemotherapeutic assault on our DNA. Yes mitochondrial damage. Yes they are Chemotherapeutic Antibiotics. Oops…oh well. Steve or Susie Went in for a sinus infection, or Prostate infection and was given this crap once, or repeatedly and now cant walk, or stand…burning painful neuropathies, and vision problems, disabled, tendon, ligament, connective tissue damage, But hey, no big deal, Money is made, and it’s business as usual. No matter that there are 10’s of thousands of people all over the USA. begging to be heard. Not discredited by a medical community that is owned by Big Pharma. Refusing to acknowledge the severe life changing systemic injuries this class of Antibiotics has caused. One lousy pill can & has done this….and so has the repeated Rx. Accumulative. All those mysterious symptoms of fatigue and pain in knees and shoulders, etc…..develop gradually into complete disability. My prayer is that the people of this country, take back the reins from the massive corruption. We really have everything to lose.

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