Jun 30, 2021

New Report Reveals “Hidden Hand” Of Brand Name Drug Industry

In case you missed it, Patients for Affordable Drugs (P4AD) released a new report Tuesday examining the financial levers and tactics used by Big Pharma to influence patient advocacy groups and a network of AstroTurf organizations to undermine support for solutions to lower drug prices and hold the brand name drug industry accountable.

“Although most well-known patient organizations have important missions and provide invaluable services to patients, many appear unable or unwilling to take positions on consumer issues such as lowering prescription drug prices that might anger their drug corporation funders,” the report states. “Policymakers, elected officials, and the news media must be made aware that when these groups act and speak, the influence of Big Pharma money may actually be at work behind the scenes.”

The report found that among a sample of 15 influential national patient organizations, all took contributions from Big Pharma. In addition, all but one of the organizations failed to disclose the full extent of their funding from the pharmaceutical industry. On top of that, 12 out of the 15 groups have a representative from the pharmaceutical industry on their board.

The report also explored two other tactics Big Pharma uses to try to suppress support for policy proposals it dislikes, including funding so-called patient assistance “charities” and AstroTurf groups that claim to speak for patients but are just talking heads for the brand name drug industry.

Two of the four patient assistance groups analyzed by the report “recently entered into settlements with the government for illegal coordination with their drug company funders,” and three of the four AstroTurf groups were “actually housed in or staffed by for-profit firms that advocate for pharmaceutical companies or have been staffed by PhRMA employees in the past.”

Read the P4AD report The Hidden Hand: Big Pharma’s Influence On Patient Advocacy Groups HERE.

Read more on market-based solutions to hold Big Pharma accountable and lower prescription drug prices HERE.