Katie Couric's Notebook: Drug Companies

On a campaign stop in 2008, then candidate Barack Obama firmly declared "we'll tell the pharmaceutical companies 'thanks but no thanks for overpriced drugs.'"

Cut to August, 2009.

As he tries to lower the temperature in the health care debate those drug companies are now part of his prescription They're pledging to spend as much as $150 million for an ad campaign promoting the plan and $80 billion over a decade to help pay for it.

It's an unlikely alliance for a man they once considered a foe.

In exchange, they stand to gain protection against government price controls on drugs.

It's a strange turnabout for a man who called a law preventing Medicare from negotiating costs a "profound mistake."

Members of his own party say this asks too little of drug companies. The cost of drugs after all is one reason why health care is out of control.

Let's hope this new deal isn't just treating the symptoms instead of curing the disease.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.