Patients’ Groups and Big Pharma

A new report by Public Citizen found that of 147 patients’ groups that sided with the pharmaceutical industry against a Medicare Part B demonstration project designed to lower the prices of expensive drugs, at least 110 (75%) received funding from the industry.  When patients’ groups side with the pharmaceutical industry against proposed policy reforms, they lend credibility and a sympathetic voice to industry lobbying efforts. Where the industry’s interest in lobbying for or against particular policies in Congress often is rightly perceived as purely financial, patients’ groups present themselves as representing the voices of suffering individuals whose sole interest is to get better.