Dr. Harold Schaefer stood up. He was handed a microphone and began to testify to the panel of legislators sitting at the head of the chamber. “No one is talking about the elephant in the room,” he said. “Big Pharma has a history of always making the big promise, but the reality is that they are motivated only by their intent to achieve the big payoff.”
Several members of the panel squirmed uncomfortably. Dr. Schaefer continued, “All you need to do is pull back the curtain to see that these drug companies are curtailing the production of certain drugs that are critically needed by a very small segment of the population but which do not generate sufficient profits. And we all know that making obscene profits is the true north of Big Pharma.”
Dr. Schaefer wasn’t used to speaking in public, much less before a congressional committee. He took out a handkerchief and wiped the perspiration from his forehead. “These so-called orphan drugs don’t generate profits, but they do save lives, and as a physician with patients’ lives on the line, I need to, at the risk of seeming to taunt you, demand that you do your jobs to protect the public.”
The committee chairman banged the gavel. “Thank you, Dr. Schaefer,” he said. “We appreciate your time and will take your testimony under advisement. Meeting adjourned.”
Dr. Schaefer gathered his papers, stood up, and walked out of the chamber, knowing that his words would be evanescent, soon forgotten by those in front of whom he testified.
Written for Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge, where the things are “north,” “payoff,” and “promise.” Also for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (elephant), The Daily Spur (history), Ragtag Daily Prompt (intent), Daily Addictions (curtain), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (orphan), Nova’s Daily Random Word (taunt), and Your Daily Word Prompt (evanescent).