An Unusual Strategy: This PAC On Drug Prices Is Sinking Millions Into Races It Knows It Can’t Impact
The Patients for Affordable Drugs says that where its money can’t help decide a race, it can still send a message: that politicians running campaigns funded by drug companies will face retribution. But some experts are dubious. In other pharmaceutical news: Stat reveals the lobbying firm behind a shadowy drug pricing organization, pharma gets a boost after a New Jersey court dismisses hundreds of lawsuits, and patent laws are getting attention in the fight over prices.
Why Is This Drug Pricing PAC Spending Millions On Long-Shot Races?
The ad blitz from Patients for Affordable Drugs highlights the unorthodox tack the group is taking in the 2018 midterm elections: intervening in races in which there is no hope of altering the outcome. Of the nine congressional and gubernatorial races in which P4AD has supported or opposed candidates to date, just three or four are competitive, according to STAT’s analysis of election forecasts from the website FiveThirtyEight. (Robbins and Facher, 10/5)
A GOP Lobbying Firm Helped Launch The Latest Pro-Pharma Advocacy Group
A Republican lobbying firm, the CGCN Group, is behind this week’s launch of the shadowy drug pricing organization, Alliance to Protect Medical Innovation, a partner at the firm confirmed to STAT Thursday. It is still unclear who is funding the organization, but the group admitted Thursday it relied on some “seed money from people inside the [drug] industry.” The brand drug lobby BIO also said in a new release on its website Thursday that it is joining as one of APMI’s first members. (Florko, 10/4)
New Jersey Court Again Gives Pharma A Boost In Lawsuits Filed By Consumers
In what some are calling a boost for the pharmaceutical industry, the New Jersey Supreme Court dismissed hundreds of lawsuits claiming a Roche drug caused a serious side effect because the company had not properly warned about potential harm. And in doing so, the court reaffirmed a state product liability law that drug makers rely on to defend themselves, but has caused disagreement in lower courts. At the center of the litigation was the Accutane acne medication, which was alleged in more than 500 lawsuits to have caused inflammatory bowel disease. (Silverman, 10/4)
Kaiser Health News:
In The Battle To Control Drug Costs, Old Patent Laws Get New Life
In the drug pricing battle, progressive lawmakers such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and patients’ rights activists rarely find themselves in step with the health industry’s big players. But in a twist, these usually at-odds actors are championing similar tactics to tame prescription drug prices. (Luthra, 10/5)