The Politician’s Pharmacy.

Politicians, like the rich, are different. In some respects, dangerously so. Those on Capitol Hill have their own on staff physicians, and whatever drugs they want, at any time, all for the very low cost of around $600.00 a year. There’s a nice deal for you.

Nearly every day for at least two decades pharmaceutical drugs have been brought by the carload to the Capitol – an arrangement so under the radar that even pharmacy lobbyists who regularly pitch Congress on their industry aren’t aware of it.

The deliveries arrive at the secretive Office of the Attending Physician, an elaborate medical clinic where Navy doctors triage medical emergencies and provide basic health care for lawmakers who pay an annual fee of just over $600. Every one comes from Washington’s oldest community pharmacy, Grubb’s.

Mike Kim, the reserved pharmacist-turned-owner of the pharmacy, said he has gotten used to knowing the most sensitive details about some of the most famous people in Washington.

“At first it’s cool, and then you realize, I’m filling some drugs that are for some pretty serious health problems as well. And these are the people that are running the country,” Kim said, listing treatments for conditions like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

“It makes you kind of sit back and say, ‘Wow, they’re making the highest laws of the land and they might not even remember what happened yesterday.'”

Having already dealt with the fallout from having a sitting president who had Alzheimer’s disease in office (Reagan), it would probably be right good idea if a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s barred one from the political workforce. Most diseases are manageable, but leaving those who have Alzheimer’s disease in place while making extremely serious decisions about policy…uh, no.

The handy dandy pharmaceutical stock was news to me, however, I can’t say I’m surprised or shocked. There are a whole lot of reasons that people won’t give up such a cushy job, and this would be one of them. There’s much more to the story, you can read about it here.


  1. militantagnostic says

    After hearing Dana Rohrabacher asking a NASA employee if he thought there was Civilization on Mars 5000 years ago, this does not surprise me. Alzheimer’s would go unnoticed for a long time in that environment. Reagan began showing signs of dementia in the last year of his first term.

  2. says


    Alzheimer’s would go unnoticed for a long time in that environment.

    I don’t think it would go unnoticed at all, there’s just an unwritten agreement to ignore such things.

  3. militantagnostic says

    Caine @2
    You are probably correct and Senators / Representatives with Alzheimers are very valuable when votes are needed for policies that are not supported by evidence.

  4. says

    Nancy “just say ‘No'” Reagan used to gobble down the Valium. But it was OK because she had a prescription. Jack Kennedy was on all kinds of stuff that probably had him half-baked: speed to stay awake and painkillers for his back (basically, Hitler’s cocktail) etc.

    What’s sad is that most small pharmacies have really bad computer security. I’m not suggesting someone throw a rock through the window and make it look like someone had tried a smash-and-grab for narco, then drop a PWN plug under the desk, but … I bet a dollar to a donut you’d be able to implode a few Washington bigshots careers. I bet they move an inordinate amount of a certain blue pull from Pfizer.

  5. Kreator says

    Like my country’s ex-president Carlos Menem! No Alzheimers as far as I know, but the guy is a wreck nonetheless and his party never fails to haul him in when they need him to raise his hand at the Senate.

  6. says

    Marcus @ 4:

    This was in the article:

    Although he isn’t lobbying Congress, Kim is still working to improve his relationship with OAP. He desperately wants the office to use an electronic system to route prescriptions to the pharmacy, rather than having their physicians call them in every time.

    The “back to back” calls are slowing down the rest of his business, and he thinks it’s important to have a clearer record of what prescriptions are ordered than a phone call can provide.

    There’s nothing to PWN there.

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