ICYMI: The Intercept – “Big Pharma Paid LGBT Groups and Others That Opposed California Drug-Price Ballot Measure (Prop. 61)”

Intercept published an article
by investigative reporter Lee Fang
titled “Big Pharma Paid LGBT Groups and Others That Opposed California
Drug-Price Ballot Measure,” also know as Proposition 61, the California
Drug Price Relief Act.

In the article, Fang notes that two competing San Francisco-based LGBT
Democratic groups – “the leftist Harvey Milk Democratic Club and the
centrist Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club,” both “announced in
September that they would be opposing Proposition 61, the high-profile
initiative to lower drug prices.” “Unknown to many activists in the
city,” Fang wrote, “this act of political camaraderie appears to have
been rewarded by the pharmaceutical industry, which cut each club
a $5,000 check from a fund set up to defeat the drug price initiative.
Neither LGBT group, both of which have sent voter guides to city
residents, revealed the donation on their website.”

Fang added, “The money was disclosed in
made on
Thursday that showed 19 different civic organizations, from the Foreign
Legion to a bilingual voter guide organization, taking drug industry
funds and endorsing No on Prop 61.” “Over half a million dollars
flowed to groups sending out a variety of voter guides urging a vote
against Prop 61,” Fang revealed. “The practice
of selling voter guide endorsements, though shunned by many consultants,
is a common trick for interest groups seeking to buy the appearance of
widespread support.”

The Intercept also notes that “Three of the veterans groups that
endorsed No on Prop 61 and appeared
in a television advertisement against the measure — the American Legion
of California, Veterans of Foreign Wars of California and the Vietnam
Veterans of America CA State Council — all received direct payments from
the PhRMA fund, the filings reveal. Other veterans groups that have
campaigned against the initiative, including the American GI Forum, also
received drug industry money.”

Read the article in its entirety here: https://theintercept.com/2016/10/28/lgbt-drug-price/

“We’ve been highlighting the bought-and-paid-for opponents of 61 for
months,” said Garry South, lead strategist for Yes on Prop. 61. “Most of
the opposition to Prop. 61 comes from Big Pharma itself, who has
bankrolled the entire effort to save their drug profits, or from groups
that have serious financial ties to the drug lobby. Californians aren’t
fooled. They can’t be bought and paid for like so many of these
so-called advocacy groups that are acting as shills for Pharma.”

For more details on the financial links to the drug industry of those
opposed to Proposition 61, visit www.FollowTheDrugDollars.com

Prop. 61 is the only vehicle available in this election year for
Californians to address the high cost of life-saving drugs. Proposition
61 would require the state of California to negotiate with drug
companies for drug prices that are no more than is paid for the same
drugs by the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (DVA). Unlike Medicare, the
DVA negotiates for drug prices on behalf of the millions of veterans it
serves, and pays on average 20-24 percent less for medications than
other government agencies, and up to 40 percent less than Medicare Part
D. Prop. 61 empowers the state, as the healthcare buyer for millions of
Californians, to negotiate the same or an even better deal for
taxpayers, saving the state billions.

for by Yes on Prop. 61, Californians for Lower Drug Prices, With Major
Funding by AIDS Healthcare Foundation and California Nurses Association
PAC. FPPC ID#1376791


Yes on Prop. 61
Roger Salazar, 916-284-1255