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Does the Washington Post Have a Conflict of Interest in its Editorials?

If you are one of those people who believes there is no such thing as a coincidence, you’ll have to ask if the Washington Post is pushing one of its editors’ spousal agendas.Reuters reported a while back that the Federal Trade Commission was considering ending “pay for delay” practices with generic drugs.Basically, when a generic drug manufacturer is ready to come on the scene with a generic, a name brand pharmaceutical company pays the generic to delay entry to the market. Well, the FTC cannot really stop it, but it has been urging Congress to do something about it. One of the FTC Commissioners pushing an end to “pay to delay” is Jon Leibowitz, who acts as chairman.From Reuters:

The 21 deals in the first nine months of the 2010 fiscal year is up sharply from the 19 made in all of 2009, and up from 16 deals in 2008 and 14 in 2006 and 2007, the FTC said.But lawmakers also questioned whether the FTC overstepped its bounds during a specific pay-for-delay probe.At the hearing of a House of Representatives judiciary subcommittee, some lawmakers questioned FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz about criticisms of the agency’s probe of generic drug company Watson Pharmaceuticals (WPI.N).

Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee took up the matter and voted 15 to 15 on a measure ending “pay to delay.” On the exact same day as the Senate Appropriations Committee was voting, the Washington Post editorialized about this not widely noticed issue.Sitting on the Washington Post editorial board is Ruth Marcus. Ms. Marcus is also known as Mrs. Jon Leibowitz.The vote sounds like a good idea. It probably will help lower drug prices. That’s not the point. Shouldn’t the Washington Post disclose that one of its editorial board members is married to one of the FTC Commissioners who has been pushing this issue?Would the Washington Post have paid attention to an Appropriations Committee vote on this matter otherwise?Were it a blog post at a blog, the Washington Post would no doubt take issue with what seems to be an undisclosed conflict. But I guess when you’re the MSM you can do things you wouldn’t want others to do.

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