For Love and Money

  • by: |
  • 08/25/2006

This is not a joke.

It is very scary.

Please pay attention.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation , known for its $500,000 “Genius Grants,” has created a similar prize for nonprofit organizations.

Terrific right? Not so fast.

The prizes for nonprofits were given today to nine groups, including a reconstituted D.C. organization now known as Knowledge Ecology International — formerly the Ralph Nader-affiliated Consumer Project on Technology. That’s the group led by our pal, the patent-hating Jamie Love.

What “genius” thought up this one?

Love says his group is going to use this new infusion of cash to push for legislation in Congress next year to drive down the price of drugs by changing how research and development are financed. The goal would be for development to be based on drugs’ potential health benefits, not on their potential market value. If this “new paradigm” is successful with the U.S. pharmaceutical industry, Love says, the impact would be felt internationally as well.

That’s for sure. If by “impact” you mean the global destruction of pharmaceutical R&D.

The legislation, are you sitting down, is to be sponsored by none other than the Honorable Member from Ben & Jerry’s — Rep. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.).

“We’re going to make a run [in Congress] on this new idea,” said Sanders. The lobbying focus, he said, will probably be on trying to develop a citizens movement similar to the one that supported importing “Canadian” drugs.

And we all know how well that worked.

BTW, isn’t it against the law for a not-for-profit to support and lobby for legislation? Or is that only if they’re, say, conservative or free-market?

KEI received $500,000 from the MacArthur Foundation to help with start-up costs associated with becoming an independent nonprofit.

“Start-up costs?” What are they starting up? A hedge fund?

CMPI (the public policy institute parent of will be submitting its MacArthur Foundation grant shortly.


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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