'

DrugWonks on Twitter

DrugWonks on Facebook

CMPI Videos


Video Montage of Third Annual Odyssey Awards Gala Featuring Governor Mitch Daniels, Montel Williams, Dr. Paul Offit and CMPI president Peter Pitts


Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels


Montel Williams, Emmy Award-Winning Talk Show Host


Paul Offit, M.D., Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, for Leadership in Transformational Medicine


CMPI president Peter J. Pitts


CMPI Web Video: "Science or Celebrity"

Social Networks



Please Follow the Drugwonks Blog on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube & RSS




Add This Blog to my Technorati Favorites
Political Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Tabloid Medicine

Please Check out the latest book by
Dr. Robert Goldberg Ph.D.
"Tabloid Medicine"

Check Out CMPI's Book

Physician Disempowerment:
A Transatlantic Malaise

Edited By: Peter J. Pitts
Download the E-Book Version
Here

CMPI Events

Donate

CMPI Reports

Blog Roll

Alliance for Patient Access Alternative Health Practice
AHRP

Better Health
BigGovHealth
Biotech Blog
BrandweekNRX
CA Medicine man
Cafe Pharma
Campaign for Modern Medicines
Carlat Psychiatry Blog
Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry: A Closer Look
Conservative's Forum

Club For Growth
CNEhealth.org

Diabetes Mine
Disruptive Women
Doctors For Patient Care
Dr. Gov
Drug Channels
DTC Perspectives
eDrugSearch
Envisioning 2.0
EyeOnFDA
FDA Law Blog
Fierce Pharma
fightingdiseases.org
Fresh Air Fund
Furious Seasons
Gooznews
Gel Health News
Hands Off My Health
Health Business Blog
Health Care BS
Health Care for All
Healthy Skepticism
Hooked: Ethics, Medicine, and Pharma
Hugh Hewitt
IgniteBlog
In the Pipeline
In Vivo
Instapundit
Internet Drug News
Jaz'd Healthcare
Jaz'd Pharmaceutical Industry
Jim Edwards' NRx
Kaus Files
KevinMD
Laffer Health Care Report
Little Green Footballs
Med Buzz
Media Research Center
Medrants
More than Medicine
National Review
Neuroethics & Law
Newsbusters
Nurses For Reform
Nurses For Reform Blog
Opinion Journal
Orange Book
PAL
Peter Rost
Pharm Aid
Pharma Blog Review
Pharma Blogsphere
Pharma Marketing Blog
Pharmablogger
Pharmacology Corner
Pharmagossip
Pharmamotion
Pharmalot
Pharmaceutical Business Review
Piper Report
Polipundit
Powerline
Prescription for a Cure
Public Plan Facts
Quackwatch
Real Clear Politics
Remedyhealthcare

Shark Report
Shearlings Got Plowed
StateHouseCall.org
Taking Back America
Terra Sigillata
The Cycle
The Catalyst

The Lonely Conservative
TortsProf
Town Hall
Washington Monthly
World of DTC Marketing
WSJ Health Blog
 


USA Today: Patient Groups That Get Money Anywhere But Pharma are Conflict Free.

2017-02-22 | Robert Goldberg
Jayne O' Donnell believes that patient groups that get money from biotech and pharma are corrupt.  Her USA Today article: "New patient group focuses on drug prices amid bipartisan concern" starts off with this guilt by association meme:

"A new patient advocacy group launches Wednesday that distinguishes itself by focusing only on drug prices and eschewing money from the pharmaceutical industry at a time when drug makers are pouring millions into a campaign fighting efforts to regulate them."

In otherwords,  groups that get money from biopharma companies are not legitimate.   O' Donnell claims the new group -- Patients For Affordable Drugs -- is the only organization tackling policies to bring down drug prices because they are pharma free.   That is untrue.  What is true is that most patients groups -- and not PAFD focusing on the rigged system wherein PBMs, insurers and government health programs that set drug prices to maximize rebate revenue.  Those are the prices that matter.   If you want to reduce launch prices and price increases of drug companies, change the way drugs are paid for and the cost of drug development.  PFAD ignores both.  Why?

They focus on the immoral practice of getting $100 billion in rebates (that reduce drug prices) and then forcing the sickest patients to pay up to 50 percent of the retail price of the same drugs.  (That's another $30 billion from less than 3 percent of all patients)   But PFAD is perfect because it doesn't take 'drug' money.  So what if it ignores the rebate games, the forced drug switching, fail first step therapy, etc.  So what if it ignores the fact that by passing through rebate dollars the patient share of any drug cost could be zero, without raising premiums.  

PFAD is perfect because it doesn't get drug money and supports government negotiated drug pricing for Medicare without acknowledging that such practices have hurt patients in Medicaid, the VA and everywhere price controls are used around the world. 

Guess what other organizations share the same approach or seek to promote it?  ICER,  the drug pricing group at the   Oregon Health & Science University, and several others.  And they all get money from the John and Laura Arnold Foundation which has publicly stated it wants to build a network of groups attacking drug prices and the 'grass roots' entities to lobby for the policies and approaches the other entities produce. 

So the real debate is how to best increase the pace of medical innovation and ensure that they are accessible.   The Arnold-funded family of groups pursue administrative approaches and regulations to limit price and the pace of drug development.   No mention of PBMs, insurers, etc.   Patient groups are focusing on the system as a whole.  And patient groups are less likely to support more government control over prices and access.  They want a patient-centered drug development process.  Arnold-funded 'experts' want more randomized trials where patients are exposed to placebos half the time. 

To assert that Arnold foundation money is less tainted than money from a biotech company is ridiculous.  If patient groups got money from the Merck Foundation instead of Merck for instance, would it pass O'Donnell's purity test?

(Many companies fought against eugenics in the early part of the 20th century.  Foundations supported eugenics, accusing corporations of simply wanting more immigrants to work in their factories. ) 

It is time to stop branding patient groups as tainted because of their funding sources.  Let's focus on the issues.   The Arnold Foundation is seeking to change policy.   So are patient groups.