The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas on September 26, 1978 · Page 6
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The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas · Page 6

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Galveston, Texas
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Tuesday, September 26, 1978
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Page 6
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6-A tf:ilur*tmi Daily •N'cius Tuesday Morning. September 26. 1978 Viewpoints Commentary, Editorials Jack Anderson Congress Probes Drug Industry tempt citation. At issue are government documents alleging that many large drug companies actually don't manufacture some of their highly advertised products. Usually, officials from a big drug company will hire a smaller firm to manufacture a product for them. Then the big firm will stamp its brand name on the product, jack up the price and sell the drug as its own. The big-name firm is required only to send someone to the factory to watch over the manufacturing process. The ruse is known as "man in the plant." WASHINGTON - A batch of secret documents which reveal widespread deception by the drug industry has precipitated another bitter confrontation between the Carter administration and Congress. Health, Education and Welfare Secretary Joseph Califano has refused to release some of the material on the grounds that it would compromise industry trade secrets. But a House subcommittee, chaired by Rep. John Moss, D-Calif., reacted angrily by voting to hold Califano in contempt of Congress. The full committee must now decide whether to uphold the con- Atigle & Walters Fiction May Be Turning Into Fact AUBURN, Maine (NEA) - A continent away from the celluloid capital of the world, the kind of political drama that would make a Hollywood screenwriter salivate is gradually building towards a Nov. 7 climax. In the improbable setting of pine forests and potato fields, one of the nation's hottest congressional contests is under way between candidates who could have come straight from central casting. Where else could one find a 31-year-old Greek-American named Olympia Snowe, orphaned as a child and widowed in her mid-20s when her husband died in an auto accident, who surmounted both tragedies to build a career as an activist state legislator? And who but a Hollywood director would pit Snowc against Mark Gartley, a 34-year-old former Navy jet pilot captured in Vietnam when his F-4 Phantom was shot down, who attained national fame as the first American prisoner- of-war to be freed by the enemy? But Snowe and Gartley are no fictional characters. They are the very real contenders for the U.S. House seat in Maine's sprawling 2nd congressional district vacated by GOP Rep. William S. Cohen, who is challenging Sen. William D. Hathaway, D-Me., this year. Gartley, a moderate-to-conservative Democrat, is currently believed to be leading the race, largely as a result of the name recognition he has achieved as Maine's secretary of state. But Snowe, a progressive Republican, may be closing the gap. She enjoys the support of several national women's organizations and probably has the best chance of victory of any non-incumbent woman seeking a House seat this year. The congressional district, geographically largest east of the Mississippi, is as unusual as the candidates. Its northernmost county, Aroostpok, is bigger than Rhode Island and Connecticut combined, and while the district seems light years removed from Washington, it is far from indifferent to the federal government. Aroostook County is the site of the proposed Dickey- Lincoln dam, a proposed hydroelectric generating facility that would cost an estimated $1 billion to build and would produce almost 1.2 million kilowatts of power annually for distribution throughout New England. The planned dam would be the world's second largest, after the Aswan Dam in Egypt. About 88,000 acres of forest would be flooded to create a huge reservoir, with another 150,000 acres of prime timberland, rivers, streams and lakes affected by the project, Gartley supports Dickey-Lincoln, arguing it will provide relatively cheap, safe and badly needed power. Snowe opposes the project because it would destroy irreplaceable natural resources. Another campaign controversy involves the legal claims of the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy Indians to some 12.5 million acres of Maine land, most of it located in the 2nd congressional district. Both candidates acknowledge the Indians deserve Just compensation for the territory taken from them mere than 175 years ago, yet both worry also about the rights of nearly 350,000 current property owners whose land titles are threatened by the 3,000 remaining Indians. Also at issue is the future of Loring Air Force Base, a huge Strategic Air Command facility just north of the community of Limestone, designated by the Defense Department as a candidate for termination. Shutting down the base could wipe out thousands of jobs in an area whose economy is already shaky. The Pentagon has postponed its decision until after election day, presumably to avoid embarrassing Gartley and other Maine Democrats. Although physically and spiritually distant from Washington, this rugged, isolated and sparsely settled region — like virtually every other area of the country — finds its future inextricably tied to federal decisions. And the choice of its next U.S. representative is not taken lightly here by anyone. (NEWSPAPER ENTERPRISE. ASSN.) Berry's World © 1978 by NEA. Inc "This corruption in the General Services Administration really burns me. Everybody is getting HIS except ME!" Thus, the industry giants are able to charge consumers millions of dollars more than generic firms for products that are essentially the same. We have been looking into companies that play this elaborate shell game. For example: - The Parke-Davis drug firm has hired the John D. Copanos Company to make a penicillin compound. When Parke-Davis officials asked the government for permission to market the drug, in fact, they said their product was identical to the one made by Copanos. But Parke- Davis changed the color, added fancy new packaging and charges a higher price. - Parke-Davis also contracted with Cord Laboratories to make certain drugs. The company then asked the Food and Drug Administration if it could strike the phrase "manufactured for Parke-Davts" from the label. "The rationale for this deletion," explains an internal Food and Drug memo, "is that Parke-Davis will lease the manufacturing facilities from Cord Laboratories." The memo opposed the plan, saying: "Such labeling is misleading ... (and) is at variance with the administration's full disclosure policy." But other bureaucrats said the idea was permissible "under our man-in-the-p!ant policy." A Parke-Davis spokesman stressed: "We supervise them and it must meet our high quality control standards." - Cord Laboratories, incidentally, also sells its drugs under the brand name of Tutag. And it peddles the same products for an even cheaper price through a company called Geneva Generics. Neither firm lists Cord as the real manufacturer. A spokesman told us there is no deception because all three firms are related. He said the prices vary because of marketing expenses. - Rexall Drug Co. makes products for many big firms, as well as its own national chain of drug stores. One of Rexall's drugs is sold at a discount by a subsidiary called Carnegie Laboratories. But the cozy arrangement backfired when Carnegie started underselling Rexall. "Pharmacists refuse to buy Rexall's own products," one memo explained, "since they have already bought products with the Rexall name on the label for (a cheaper* price by buying from the distributors." Rexall pleaded with the government, therefore, to leave its name off the drugs it sells through Carnegie. But another memo noted: "The Carnegie tablets are produced by the same personnel, the same machinery and equipment as the Rexall product. In fact, the bulk tablets are interchangeable." A Rexall spokesman said "there was no attempt to misrepresent. We just did this as a favor to some companies and it backfired on us." - The subcommittee found that some products marketed by the Wyeth firm are actually produced by Mylan Laboratories. Wyeth then charges top dollar for the drugs. The controversy set off a flurry of memos inside the Food and Drug agency. One official noted that "this policy is obsolete (and, in my opinion, was obsolete ten years ago) ... It is inconsistent with ... truthful and accurate labeling, and with ... making certain that the label designates the true manufacturer of the drug." Another called it "false and misleading." But top officials recently ruled that the agency "would not devote resources to revising our current man-in-the-plant policy at this time." Under pressure from Congress, however, the bureaucrats have now reversed themselves. "We are now drafting new regulations that will limit man-in-the-plant techniques," a Food and Drug spokesman told our associate Howie Kurtz. He said the new rules would require companies to follow certain practices in order to claim credit as the manufacturer. "The label should be clear," he said. Califano assured Rep. Moss in a recent letter that he too is pushing for these reforms. "We share the same objectives," he wrote. Footnote: Once the true manufacturers are revealed, many big firms will no longer be able to claim that their higher- priced products are superior. Vet the industry continues to place ads in medical magazines saying: "Sub- 'stitution is bad medicine ... That's why most doctors prescribe brand name medications." The government, however, has certified that most cheaper drugs with no brand name are just as effective. ^:.:;v^£S^ "CONGRATULATIONS - SHE'S ALL YOURS!" John D. Lofton Jr. ig Does Not Always Mean Better WASHINGTON - In Aeschylus' "Prometheus Bound," Prometheus tells how he found men witless, bewildered and confused, with eyes that saw no purpose and ears that did not hear. He says that he made men "masters of their minds" by discovering for them, among other things, how to build brick houses facing the sun; work in wood; yoke beasts and harness horses; use ships, and observe the rising and setting of stars. Pre-eminent among the "subtle devices" he discovered for men, says Prometheus, was numbering. Well, six out of seven isn't bad. Learning how to construct brick houses and work with wood and use beasts and horses and put ships to work and watch stars are all good things to know, whether you happen to be a man or a woman. But numbering? I'm not all that sure how big a favor Prometheus did us here. The jury is still out on this contrivance. In a "Dear Editor" press release from the Office of the Postmaster General, I am informed that by 1981 the U.S. Postal Service will be adding four more digits to our ZIP codes, bringing the totai number of digits in this code to nine. Anticipating the public reaction to this "essential development," Walter Duka, the assistant postmaster general in charge of the Public and Employment Communications Department, notes apologetically. "We are very aware of, and share, most people's reluctance to have new numbers added to their lives." Postmaster General William Bolger says the decision to go ahead with this new "add-on system" was a "logical extension" of the ZIP (Zoning Improvement Plan),"' which was announced in 1961 and introduced in 1963. A nine- digit ZIP code is needed, he observes, in order to help keep down postage rates by substantially reducing costs and to improve service by reducing "sortation errors" and speeding mail processing. Bolger says the new system would apply primarily to business mailers, who account for about 80 percent of all mail volume. The average citizen will be "encouraged," but not required, to use the add-on digits when the new system goes into effect. The postmaster general says his service's "action" is similar to the phone company's introduction of area codes, which have enabled Ma Bell to increase her electronic switching capability, hold down rates and improve service. The addition of four digits to the ZIP code, he adds, is also like what the banking system has done in expanding its numbering system to aid in the automated processing and sortation of checks. As it stands now, the five-digit ZIP code guides letters and other mail to the 40,000 post offices, stations and branches serving more than 70 million homes, farms and businesses across the nation. But with four more ZIP digits, Bolger promises us, things will be much better. Within all five-digit delivery areas, each block of a street, each office building and each company receiving a lot of mail will be assigned a four-digit, add- on number. For example, the 400 block of Main Street will be assigned a four- digit, add-on number. According to the postmaster general, the added ZIP digits will provide up to 9,999 possible delivery points - that is, to street blocks, office buildings and larger mailers within any one delivery area. With some of the largest ZIP code delivery areas having some 4,000 block faces and other delivery points in use today, the new system, says Bolger, provides room for expansion for many years to come, avoiding the problem of changing ZIP codes in rapidly growing areas. While precise figures on savings "have not yet been developed," he says, {this being dependent on such variables as the mail volume, the inflation rate, labor costs, etc.), the potential savings will be "highly significant." I will believe this when I see it. Bolger says that full automated processing using new OCRs (optical character readers) would allow eight or nine workers to do the work now done by 20. Here the Washington Post has made an interesting editorial suggestion. If a nine-digit ZIP allows machines to quickly zero in on a much smaller mail-delivery area, like a specific city block, then why not add a few more numbers to these nine digits and have the mail zero in on one's very own house? Better yet, why doesn't the Post Office just use addresses instead of ZIP codes? Oh, well, progress marches on. Like it or not, we're going to have nine- digit ZIP codes, and I predict further bewilderment and confusion. Prometheus, where are you when we really need you? Copyright. 1978, United Feature Syndicate. Inc. Looking Backward By SALLY REEDY 25 YEARS AGO Sept. 26, 1953—Misses Carmella Pistone and Rose Marie Barnett complimented Mrs. Johnny Pistone with a shower Wednesday night in the F and T Memorial Hall. In the games played, the prizes were won by Mrs. Pistone, her mother, Mrs. B.A. Bledsoe, Mrs. Veronica Willard and Mrs. Gene HURRICANE SEASON 1900 6,000 Dead j20 Million Damage s. 1978 Atlantic Storm Names Amelia Kendra Bess Cora Defora Ella Flossie Gfcla Hope Irma Juliet Louise Marina Noreon Ora Paula Rosalie Susan Tanya Vanessa Wanda Hurricanes are immense, swirling storm systems covering thousands of square miles, with winds often exceeding 200 miles an hour and awesome potential for destruction. The season begins in June and builds toward November, with the National Weather Service closely watching radar screens for the slightest hint of a major storm developing in the usual Caribbean spawning grounds. Some of the major hurricanes of this century, with death and damage tolls, are located on this map. The practice of designating storms by female names, common for the past several decades, will change next year when male and female names will alternate. Sanchez. Assisting the hostesses were Miss Minnie Maniscolo and Mrs. Tony Ozarchuk. Ball High School's twirlers for the drum and bugle corps are June Greenwood, Mary Beap, Gayle McAdams and Elizabeth Fair. Deborah and Daniel Kivch of La Marque were the only twins born in the entire nation on Sept. 23. Pat Saia's Italian Spaghetti House have moved from 30th and Beach to 913 Mechanic facing John Sealy Hospital. The World's largest Houdriflow catalytic unit was officially dedicated in Texas City Friday by the Texas City Refining Inc. \V.H. Felter, vice- president, said it is expected to reach full capacity production soon. Dr. John McGivney has returned from New York where he was inducted into the International College of Surgeons as a fellow. E.S. Levy Company is introducing the new Van Huesen men's shirt. It has a soft collar that won't wrinkle ever! About 50 women of the First Methodist Church attended a coffee at the home of Mrs. T. Walter Moore. Mrs. W.A. Reed, Mrs. K e r m i t Hollingsworth, Mrs. William Cowan and Mrs. Karl Essig alternated at the coffee service. Mrs. W.H. Boyington presided at the guest book. "50 YEARS AGO Sept. 26, 1928-Rev. King Vivion will address the Rotary Club at the Hotel Galvez. Walter H. Shook will be chairman for the program. Ernest Hobbs, 14, who has been missing from his home since last Tuesday, was located by Deputy Sheriff E. Crowe at League City. He was working at a fig packing plant. Manard Bennett has departed for his former home in Pensacola, Fla., for his vacation. Donald Wilbur, son of Mr. and Mrs. O.D. Wilbur, left to assume his duties as principal of the Center Lane School at Mata Gorda County. Miss Dorothy Knapp was hostess at a hospitality for Miss Clara Ifland, bride- elect of P.E. Wall. threaten FOUNDED IN 1 842 TEXAS' OLDEST NEWSPAPER Dedicated to the Growth and Progress of Galveston and Galveston County MANAGEMENT TEAM LES DAUGHTRY ....................... Editor and Publisher BRAD MESSER ........................... Managing Editor WADE J. PARKER ....................... Business Manager RONALD B. SCHULTZ ............. Retail Advertising Manager DAVID LYONS ................ Classified Advertising Mansoer BILLY TUMA .......................... Circulation Manager ROBERT LEYVA ........................ Mail Room Foreman DALE THOMPSON ..................... Production Manager BILLCOCHRANE ................ Composing Room Foreman CECIL DILL .......................... Press Room Foreman Published every morning by Galveston Newspapers. Inc 8522 I'eichman Rd.. P.O. Box 628. Galveston. Texas 77553 Second Class Postage Paid at Galveston, Texas. United Press International is entitled exclusively to the use or republication of al the local news of spontaneous origin printed in this newspaper. SUBSCRIPTION RATES BY CARRIER, $4.25 per month BY MAIL $54.00 per year in U.S., $108.00 outside U.S. Readers are encouraged to submit their statements or opinions on local matters for publicacon on this page. Letters to the editor, also are always welcome. PHONE 744-3811

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