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Michael Moore film on U.S. drugmakers

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- Left-wing moviemaker Michael Moore has decided to make a film about the U.S. healthcare industry, tentatively entitled "Sicko."

Last summer the Endeavor agency, which represents Moore, sent a six-page outline of "Sicko" to a host of independent producers, independent film companies and the major studios, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday. No deal has yet been reached, but an announcement is expected after Jan. 1.

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The movie reportedly will include actors posing as pharmaceutical salespersons, use footage from video cameras in the offices of physicians who accepted money from Moore so he could tape salespersons and, finally, feature Moore himself sailing to Cuba with sick U.S. residents seeking help from that nation's free healthcare.

"Sicko," which also will highlight HMOs and insurance companies, will probably be released in the first half of 2006, sometime between the Sundance and Cannes film festivals.

U.S. pharmaceutical companies expect a hatchet job.

"His movies resemble docudramas more than documentaries," said Rachel Bloom, executive director of corporate communications for AstraZeneca in Wilmington, Del.

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