Patient Advocacy Groups with Funding & Form Letter from @PhRMA Oppose Nevada Legislation
Health care nonprofits backed by the pharmaceutical industry have inundated Democratic Sen. Yvanna Cancela’s inbox over the last couple of days as discussions on a major piece of legislation she sponsored continue behind the scenes.
Since Friday, seven groups have sent similar letters addressed generally to Nevada state senators asking them to oppose a polarizing pharmaceutical bill, SB265. All of the groups have taken money from either PhRMA, the trade association representing pharmaceutical companies in the United States and the driving force behind the opposition to the bill, or directly from pharmaceutical companies themselves.
Four of the seven organizations received grant funding directly from PhRMA in recent years including:
- RetireSafe, a nationwide senior advocacy organization, received a $25,000 grant in 2014
- The Epilepsy Foundation received a $25,000 grant in 2014
- Caregivers Voices United’s affiliate Caregivers Action Network, a family caregiver organization, received $315,000 from PhRMA as a general contribution and funding to help with an event in 2014
- National Council of Asian Pacific Islander Physicians received two $10,000 grants in 2013 and 2014
Many of the organizations also took money from pharmaceutical companies in 2016, including Pfizer and Sanofi, both which have registered lobbyists this session. The local nonprofit Lupus of Nevada, Inc. has also been encouraging people on Facebook to contact their legislators about the bill and provides them with a form letter, of which Cancela says she has received many copies.
The legislation, which Cancela introduced in February, would put price controls on diabetes medication, require pharmaceutical sales representatives to be licensed and annually report their activities and mandate disclosure of any pharmaceutical-related contributions by nonprofits in the healthcare sector.
The letters, which in some portions use nearly identical language, argue that SB265 could threaten access to medications by causing stockpiling in response to the required 90-day notice ahead of certain price increases, will help pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and insurance companies instead of patients and require nonprofits to disclose certain information about contributions they receive from pharmaceutical companies that is already publicly available — similar arguments proffered by the pharmaceutical industry in opposition to the bill.
- “Pharma Turning Patients With Rare Diseases Into D.C. Lobbyists”; http://sco.lt/6wBAp7
- “93% of Patient Advocacy Groups Included in FDA Funding Discussions Receive $ from Pharma”; http://sco.lt/8jkvFh
- “The Yin Yang of Patient Advocate Groups and the Pharma Industry”; http://sco.lt/6400R7
- “More Than Two-thirds of Patient Advocacy Groups Receive Industry Funding”; http://sco.lt/6Ftgzh