City Council votes down bill regulating pharma marketing

Philadelphia City Hall
Photo credit Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio
By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — In a major victory for the pharmaceutical industry, Philadelphia City Council Thursday voted down a bill that would have regulated pharmaceutical sales representatives. 

City council likes to think of itself as progressive, passing bills to guarantee a fair workweek, wage equity, tenant protection, ex-offenders' rights. 

RELATED: City Council to vote on bill regulating pharma marketing

So the bill's co-sponsor, Cindy Bass, thought the bill designed to take on Big Pharma in an effort to prevent future addiction epidemics was a "no-brainer." 

"In a legislative body in which we always say we put people in front of profits, I don't see how we can vote against this bill," Bass said. 

But vote against it they did, over the impassioned pleas of the other co-sponsor, Bill Greenlee. 

"100 people a month die from overdoses, real people," he said.

@BillGreenlee215⁩ argues passionately for the bill that would regulate #Pharmaceutical salesmen. ⁦@PHLCouncil⁩ seems prepared to shed its rep as progressive to defeat bill

— Pat Loeb (@PatLoeb) February 7, 2019

Greenlee denounced the intense lobbying against the bill.

"The pharmaceutical industry is threatening that, just because we had the audacity in this city to put some regulations in against them, that they could ruin our economy. We're going to get held hostage by those folks?" Greenlee said.  

The answer, apparently, was yes. 

The bill was defeated nine to five.