October 4, 2018 Press Releases

EXPOSED: PhRMA Front Group Faceplants Before Takeoff

WASHINGTON, DC –– Big Pharma has a sad tradition of funding front organizations that protect profits and oppose lower drug prices. Since its popularity is at an all time low, it appears Big Pharma has gone back to its old bag of dirty tricks –– creating a front group to push its agenda. Don’t be fooled, the Alliance to Protect Medical Innovation has all the hallmarks of a Big Pharma front group trying to keep its funders secret and drug prices high. Here are the details:

First Twitter Followers:

  • As of 2:30 PM today, the Alliance to Protect Medical Innovation had four Twitter followers. Two of them worked for Big Pharma, including Nick McGee, who works in PhRMA’s Public Relations Department. The second was a staffer for the Strategic Communications firm CGCN, a hired gun who lists running Twitter accounts as one of her job responsibilities.
Messaging Has All the Fingerprints of Big Pharma:

  • It opposes direct Medicare price negotiations. It blames Pharmacy Benefit Managers for outrageous drug prices, when the reality is, drug corporations set drug list prices. It stokes the false fear that if profit drops, research will grind to a halt, a “tired talking point” disputed by President Trump’s Health Secretary, Alex Azar, a former pharmaceutical industry CEO. And, it uses a misleading and contested figure for drug development born from the work of a pharma-funded study.

Questions for PhRMA:

  • Has PhRMA staff coordinated with anyone associated with the Alliance to Protect Medical Innovation?
  • How did PhRMA staffers find out about the Alliance to Protect Medical Innovation, and why were they among the first four twitter followers?
  • Do PhRMA or its member companies fund the Alliance to Protect Medical Innovation?

Statement from Patients For Affordable Drugs Executive Director, Ben Wakana:

“This Big Pharma front group should disclose its funders immediately, just like we do. This is a classic PhRMA tactic –– pairing misleading, self-serving ‘facts’ with the same old threat: your money or your life. But the tactic won’t work this time. Because there’s finally an authentic patient group that knows innovation and lower drug prices can co-exist. We are not frightened nor will we be bullied or silenced by Big Pharma.”


Patients For Affordable Drugs is the only independent national patient organization focused exclusively on achieving policy changes to lower the price of prescription drugs.